If you’ve driven by the new southeast tower at J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital recently, you may have noticed a new sign on the tower: WVU Heart and Vascular Institute.

The sign – located above the tower’s new entrance – is an indication that construction of the new $200 million, 10-story tower is progressing ahead of schedule, according to WVU Medicine-WVU Hospitals Chief Operating Officer Ron Pellegrino, MD.

“While full occupancy of the tower won’t occur until this summer,” said Dr. Pellegrino, “we started caring for some patients in the new tower on Dec. 29, as departments started to make the move to the new facility.”

Floors 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9 and 10 will open in January and February.

Tours of the new tower will be available for staff in early January. A grand opening event will occur on Thursday, Jan. 19.

The new tower is allowing the hospital to increase the number of patient beds from 531 to 645. “Our census continues to increase,” said Pellegrino. “Through November, for example, our average midnight census was 462. In 2015, during the same time period, our average midnight census was 414; in 2014, 401.

“More beds means more access to care for our patients across the region.”  

The new tower is home to the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute, which will lead WVU Medicine’s statewide efforts in cardiovascular patient care, program development, research, clinical education, and outreach.

The breakdown of floors in the new tower is as follows:

  • First floor: clinic space/exam rooms
  • Second floor: 10 OR and procedure rooms, plus pre- and post-op
  • Third floor: 28 ICU rooms
  • Fourth floor: 22 exam rooms
  • Fifth floor: 28 MICU beds
  • Sixth floor: 30 pediatric beds
  • Seventh floor: Heart and Vascular Institute offices
  • Eighth floor: shell space
  • Ninth floor: 32 acute care beds
  • Tenth floor: 32 acute care beds

“2017 is going to be another exciting year for WVU Medicine,” said Pellegrino. “We will continue to make patient access and quality care a top priority, as we build a nationally and internationally recognized academic medical center – one focused on meeting the needs of West Virginians.”

Cardiac monitor technicians, from left to right, Sabrina Cartwright, Kayla Sisler and Megan Maxwell pose in a nurses station on the third floor of the new southeast tower. The third floor will house the Critical Care Unit/Cardiothoracic Unit.