New cardiovascular intensive care unit to open

The Prairie Heart Institute at HSHS St. John’s Hospital will open its new cardiovascular intensive care unit (CVICU) on Monday, July 16. At a blessing ceremony on July 9, colleagues and visitors were given tours of the new space that will be dedicated to helping cardiac patients recover after open heart, cardiovascular, vascular and thoracic surgeries.

The project adds 14 CVICU beds and dedicates more space for patients, support areas, family waiting areas and nurses’ stations. It replaces two separate cardiac ICUs previously in use that separated surgical and non-surgical heart patients within the hospital.

“The new CVICU will help facilitate collaboration between heart surgeons, cardiologists, ICU physicians, specialists and support staff,” said Dr. Gregory Mishkel, executive medical director of Prairie Heart Institute at HSHS St. John’s Hospital. “It also incorporates technology that will help us better engage patients and their families.”

The $7.9 million project adds larger rooms that include showers, reclining chairs, televisions, storage space for personal belongings and large windows for access to natural light to help with the healing process.

“The additional space and amenities are important to make our unit the best place to receive care, work and practice medicine. Families could be spending a lot of time in our hospital as their loved ones recover from a cardiac illness. We want them to be as comfortable as possible,” said Dr. Charles L. Lucore, president and CEO of HSHS St. John’s Hospital. “Opening this cardiovascular intensive care unit is the most recent step in our continued commitment to providing the best heart care in the central and southern Illinois regions.”

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