By ELIZABETH REGAN // February 22, 2012
WILLIAMSPORT – The copper and silver bird-like art that hangs by the hundreds from the soaring lobby ceiling of the new Susquehanna Tower and the sunlight streaming in through the lofty windows capture the essence and intent with which the tower was built: beauty and hope.
Construction of the 242,000-square-foot Tower is the largest renovation project in Susquehanna Health’s history, costing $150 million and transforming the Williamsport Regional Medical Center.
The tower is the centerpiece to Susquehanna’s total $250 million “Project 2012” to change and update the hospital’s city campus. Susquehanna also operates Divine Providence and Muncy Valley Hospitals, where significant capital investments to improve patient care also are taking place.
The new tower effectively turns the hospital around, allowing it to face south, toward the city, the Susquehanna River and Bald Eagle Mountains, said Steve Johnson, Susquehanna Health’s president and chief executive officer.
Before the Tower’s grand opening yesterday, a tour was given to show off the new facilities and technology.
Dr. George Manchester, chief medical officer, said “efficiency and access to equipment” are a few of the biggest benefits of the Tower.
The ability to “care for patients and limit infections” was the Tower’s top boon for Neil Armstrong, president of Williamsport Regional Medical Center.
The new patient rooms are important to Tracie Witter, director of corporate communications.
“Private patient rooms, the family zone in the room and the use of natural light are all pluses versus the Heritage Building (the original hospital building). There’s more privacy and better infection control,” Witter said.