3:18pm

Fri May 13, 2011
Science/Health

UK Dedicates Hospital Sunday

The man most responsible for building a new hospital at the University of Kentucky says the facility’s ready for its “close up” this weekend. The one-point-two million square foot facility includes two patient-care floors with 128 intensive care and acute care beds.  Vice president for Health Affairs Michael Karpf says the new facility is much more adaptable than the old hospital.

“It was state of the art then but it was built for how healthcare was being delivered then without much anticipation of change.  This hospital is being built so that it is state of the art now, but it also has tremendous flexibility so over time, it can be changed.  Because we know healthcare is going to change, we just don’t know how it is going to change,” said Karpf.

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray, Governor Steve Beshear, and Kentucky lawmakers are expected at Sunday’s ribbon cutting ceremony.  The new U-K hospital opens to patients May 22nd.

“Yeah, ribbon cutting is on Sunday, the first scientific symposium is on the seventeenth, the public spaces open up on the nineteenth, 128 patients get moved into this wonderful facility on May Twenty-Second, and then we’ve just got to keep raising more money and finishing out more floors,” said Karpf.

Volunteer Staffing Coordinator Bonnie Thornton says they could use extra personnel.

“We probably need about 75 to 85 more volunteers to completely staff it as we would like,” said Thornton.

Thornton says volunteers should be available at least four hours per week. 

“Way-finders…because the building is very large and we would like to have volunteers at the access points to help patients and their families get where they need to go in an easy manner,” said Thornton.

Thornton says the volunteer opportunities include way-finders, gift shop assistants, and critical care liaisons.  Mainly, she says, they’ll patients and their relatives navigate the new facility.

“In the new building, we have mission critical volunteer opportunities that will help our patients and families as enhancing their experience throughout the system.”

Interested volunteers can get more information at the UK Healthcare website.