The Countdown Is On!

With the exterior nearly complete, anticipation is growing for the nearly $80 million, 165,000-square-foot surgery expansion project at Elkhart General Hospital. Set to open in late fall, the project will bring many exciting changes for patients, families, physicians and staff.

“Our staff does a great job every day – whether it’s the surgery staff, PACU staff, pre-op, the floor nurses, the support staff, and everybody else –but they’re working in an old model of delivery,” explains Greg Losasso, President, Elkhart General. “The exciting thing about the surgery center is that it’s going to allow us to move into a new place where we can do things truly state-of-the-art and, hopefully, it will make their jobs easier.”

Moving in tandem with the new spaces at the facility will be a new way of how care is delivered there. With associate input, new approaches will be developed. Greg expects those changes to flow into other parts of the organization as well.

“A building is just a building,” says Greg. “It’s the people we have who are going to deliver the services who will make a difference.”


In the new facility, most of the new operating rooms (ORs) will be double (or more) the size of the current ORs. The ceilings will be high enough to allow equipment to be suspended above the surgical team on moveable “arms” called booms. Housing lights, monitors and other technology, the booms will free up floor space in the OR and eliminate the need to transfer equipment from room to room.

Mark Bralick, Director of Projects & Construction for Beacon Health System, adds that the ceiling support system in the ORs will include a laminar airflow system. According to the system’s manufacturer, the low-turbulence, HEPA-filtered air “blankets the patient and sweeps across doctors, nurses and OR equipment to keep airborne contaminants out of the surgical field.”

A special 1,000-square-foot operating room, called the hybrid room, will be used primarily for heart and vascular procedures, says Pam Goddard, R.N., MSA, CNOR, Executive Director Surgical/Cardiovascular Services, Elkhart General.

“The hybrid room will have X-ray capabilities along with 3-D imaging,” explains Pam. “These images will be displayed on oversized monitors, allowing for excellent details to be viewed. This enhances the surgeon’s ability to visualize anatomy while performing a procedure.”



Incorporating ideas from former patients and families helped to guide some of the features in the new inpatient unit on the fifth floor according to Cindie McPhie, Executive Director of Specialty Services & Exceptional Experience at Elkhart General.

“Patients and families should experience an environment that not only has state-of-the-art equipment, but an environment that is conducive to healing for the patient and that has amenities for the family,” says Cindie.

Thoughtful elements in each of the private patient rooms include ample seating, a sleeping area for family, plenty of ports and outlets for electronic devices, and a second television to watch quietly while a patient is resting or sleeping.


Learn much more about the expansion project in a special Beacon eBeam video (! Get a behind-the-scenes look at the construction, too.

Third Floor
• Major mechanical systems Fourth Floor
• Surgery
• 11 total operating rooms (ORs) including 1 hybrid OR
• Endoscopy
• 3 total procedure rooms
• Post-anesthesia care unit (PACU)
• 14 total beds
• Surgery Prep/Hold
• 23 total beds/chairs
• Central Sterile Processing Fifth Floor
• 43 total beds
• 23 post-surgical
• 15 total joint
• 5 swing beds


• A helistop on the roof of the expansion will speed the care of critically injured patients in Elkhart County.
• Operating rooms will have LED surgical lights, which last longer and emit less heat.
• A skywalk will connect the new surgery floor and Obstetrics Unit with the Emergency Department.
• Family members will be able to track their loved one’s progression through the surgical process via monitors in the waiting room and/or text messages.
• On the inpatient floor, patients and families can view a rooftop garden.
• The project’s architects, Anderson Mikos Architects, was one of the architects for the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, the tallest children’s hospital in the world.