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2007 Press Releases
Morton Plant Mease Begins Expansion, Centralization of Radiology Care at Morton Plant Hospital

$16 Million Four Phase Renovation Provides “One-Stop Experience” for Patients

CLEARWATER, Fla., (July 23, 2007)- Leading edge radiology technology from ultrasounds to SPECT/CT scans. Physician access to digital radiology results in seconds. Greater patient privacy and convenience. All - are the centerpieces of the new centralized radiology department currently under construction at Morton Plant Hospital. For the first time in the hospital’s 91-year history, all inpatient radiology testing including nuclear medicine, will be combined in one wing of Morton Plant.

“This is another milestone in the Morton Plant Mease Health Care’s 2nd Century master plan for helping to improve the health of the community. For nearly a century Morton Plant Hospital has been a premier health care provider for the community and with the expansion and consolidation of radiology and nuclear medicine services, Morton Plant is continuing that commitment to quality, convenient care in its second century,” said Hal Ziecheck, administrator and chief operating officer, Morton Plant Hospital.

The entire four phase project began in spring 2007 and is anticipated to be complete in fall 2008 at a cost of an estimated $16 million. The size of the radiology department is currently 23,581 square feet. The new radiology/nuclear medicine area will expand by an additional 13,140 square feet to 36,721 square feet. It will include:

* Enlarged inpatient and waiting areas

* Physician film library for viewing nearly instantaneous digital radiology images

* Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

* Computed tomography (CT scans)

* Ultrasounds

* Single-photon emission computed tomography/computed tomography (SPECT/CT scans) – used in nuclear medicine often to help diagnose cancer

Currently the nuclear medicine program at Morton Plant is located on the first floor of the Sarah Walker Women’s Center. The nuclear medicine program will remain on the first floor, but will relocate to the radiology department in the main area of the hospital. The consolidation of services and additional space will allow Morton Plant Mease to meet what is expected to be an increased demand for radiology testing in the next decade.

“Combining the nuclear medicine program with radiology services such as CT scans and MRIs makes sense for our patients, our physicians and nurses. The centralization creates a cohesive ‘one-stop experience’, allowing for improved access to radiology testing and communication regarding patient care,” said Ziecheck.

Established in 1916, Morton Plant Hospital is a 687-bed facility. Our commitment to improving the health of everyone we serve is reflected in our community partnerships and many honors. Since 1999 Morton Plant has been awarded 14 Top 100 Hospital designations in the areas of cardiovascular, stroke, orthopaedic and overall care by the Solucient 100 Top Hospitals: National Benchmarks for Success. Morton Plant also has received the Gold Seal of ApprovalTM for Primary Stroke Care from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) and has partnered with H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute at the University of South Florida, Tampa to provide research and services for cancer patients. In 2003, the hospital was awarded Magnet Designation by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the most prestigious national recognition of excellence in nursing care. Morton Plant Hospital is located at 300 Pinellas Street, Clearwater, Fla., (727) 462-7000.

Contact: Beth Hardy (727) 298-6199 Phone, (727) 402-8113 Pager or Amy Morrow (727) 461-8538 Phone, (727) 402-5975 Pager