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Boone Hospital in Growth Mode

After being listed as one of the top four hospitals in Missouri by U.S. News & World Report, breaking ground on a new campus and completing a $2 million renovation to the main campus, Boone Hospital experienced 2014 as whirlwind year. However, according to Boone Hospital Center President Jim Sinek, he and his staff have no intention of slowing down the momentum in 2015.

“Clearly, Boone Hospital Center is in a growth mode, and because of that, it’s going to be an exciting year for us,” says Sinek, who has been with Boone since 2013. Some of the projects to look forward to in the coming months include the beginning phases of a $14 million renovation to BHC’s surgical suites; the completion of the Facility Master Plan, which will prioritize construction and renovation projects throughout Boone Hospital Center; and the completion of the new south campus medical plaza.

A new side of town

The opening of BHC’s south Columbia medical campus has been highly anticipated, both by hospital staff and community members. The board of trustees broke ground on the new location at the corner of Nifong and Forum boulevards last July. BHC has grappled with how to provide convenient care to community members in the area for more than a decade. South Columbia has been one of the fastest-growing parts of the city for several years, experiencing widespread development and population increases. “This project has been a long time coming, thanks to the historic vision of our board of trustees,” Sinek says. The board purchased the 14 acres of land for the campus in 1989 with the hope that one day BHC would be able to provide extensive medical care to community members in the area.

The new 80,000-square-foot building, which is set to open Oct. 1, 2015, will include a primary care clinic, rehabilitation services, women’s services including mammograms and bone-density screenings, a full pharmacy, physical therapy services and a Boone family practice clinic. Myrl Frevert, director of support services for Boone Hospital Center, says when all is said and done, BHC plans to have an additional two to three buildings of medical offices on site, adding up to a grand total of 125,000 square feet of medical space. The south campus will also include a reflecting pool, complete with park benches and a walking trail that will wind throughout the entire development. The reflecting pool and benches will serve as a permanent memorial to Columbia Police Officer Molly Bowden, who was killed in the line of duty in 2005.

Sinek says the hospital’s main priority with the new development is to provide the same quality of care that BHC has come to be recognized for throughout mid-Missouri. “We want to give our patients efficient, easy access to high-quality care, just the same as if they came to our main campus,” Sinek says.Community care, medical prowess

Boone Hospital Center prides itself on a lot of things. Between serving as one of the top hospitals in the country for clinical outcomes, consistently remaining a leader in innovative medical technology and acting as an industry example for patient care, BHC juggles a lot of hats. Becker’s Hospital Review nationally ranked BHC’s oncology, orthopedics and heart physicians in 2014; the hospital continued to serve as the only hospital in mid-Missouri where patients could receive minimally invasive and robotic surgeries; and in January 2014 BHC added 96 additional private patient rooms to its main campus.

The hospital’s newest branding and marketing strategy aims to show that providing excellent customer care and being a leader in the medical industry are not mutually exclusive, especially where BHC is concerned. “Our increased recognition throughout the medical community is critically important to our patients and to the reputation of our hospital,” Sinek says, “but at the same time, we’ve always been known in mid-Missouri as the hospital of choice for our community members”.

Sinek says the message coincides perfectly with BHC’s growth projection in the coming years. As Boone Hospital Center works to expand its existing campus, completes the south medical campus and continues to open primary care clinics across mid-Missouri, more community members will have access to BHC care than ever before. The hope is that whether a patient is visiting his or her family physician in Ashland, filling a prescription at the south campus or receiving an MRI at the main campus, the quality of service and the expertise of the staff will not waiver.

Continued improvement

Although the directors and staff at BHC love to look at the big picture, even projecting growth as far as 18 years from now, they never forget about the little details. Frevert says everything from adding more handrails throughout patient rooms for increased safety, to working on updating the cafeteria, to planning tirelessly to provide private rooms for NICU patients is essential to the continued improvement of BHC.

“It’s the small details that matter,” Frevert says. “Even though you may not notice them right away, in the end it’s what makes us stand out.”

“We will never stop working to improve,” Sinek explains. Although he says many ideas for renovation and growth come from the board and staff members, BHC’s biggest sources of ideas are its patients.

“We’re always striving to provide the best care for our patients and their families,” he says. “So how do we do that? By reaching out, asking how could we do better and trusting the opinions of our patients and those who have an influence over their care.”

As immense growth looms on the horizon for Boone Hospital Center in the coming year, the BHC staff hopes to continue the hospital’s 90-year legacy well in to the future.

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