Bill Voloch said the addition of 66 new jobs at Wesley Healthcare probably won't be enough as his 760-bed hospital expands.
"Our intention is to continue to expand this great hospital of ours, both adults and kids, and as we do that the . . . jobs we're going to hire over this time period is probably just the start," said Voloch, Wesley's president and CEO.
Voloch's remarks came after the Wichita City Council on Tuesday passed Wesley's $100 million industrial revenue bond request. Voloch outlined where some of that money will go in a briefing at Wesley.
As part of the bond request, Wesley has agreed to add 66 jobs over seven years at an average annual salary of $60,000. It currently employs about 3,000.
Since the bonds will help finance expansion in adult and pediatric intensive care beds at its main hospital at 550 N. Hillside, Voloch expects a need for even more workers.
"Anytime you add those kinds of beds to a hospital it's going to naturally add a whole lot of nurses, a whole lot of nurse assistants, respiratory therapists and radiology techs, kind of across the gamut of hospital care," Voloch said.
Here's a look at where Voloch said Wesley will use some of the $100 million from the bonds, which are essentially low-interest loans that companies have to repay and are used for capital improvement projects:
▪ Phase two of the expansion of Wesley Children's Hospital. Voloch said the $17 million project first announced May 17 will add a 14-bed pediatric intensive care unit for pediatric oncology, sedation and dialysis. It also includes the addition of a pediatric pharmacy within the children's hospital. "We have seen such an amazing response to everything we're doing around here, but especially around our children's hospital," he said.
▪ $9 million in new equipment, including an interventional biplane system for treating aneurysms in the brain and a new MRI.
▪ Voloch hopes to get approval from Wesley's parent company, HCA, to add another adult intensive care unit. He said Wesley is expected to open a 14-bed neuro critical care unit for stroke patients in less than two weeks. But even that addition likely won't increase Wesley's supply of critical care beds enough. "There's a lot of critically ill patients that come to Wesley," he said. "These first 14 beds is a great start to help relieve some of that pressure, but we believe that's going to continue . . . and we're probably going to have to add another unit at this point."
Voloch said the remaining money in the city bonds is for "unfunded projects."
"The rest of it we still have to go through lots of planning and proposals to HCA before it gets funded," he said.
Most of the funding from the bonds is for planning for the future, Voloch added.
"That's what this $100 million is," he said. "It's a plan for the future. It's what we believe . . . this organization is going to need over the next five years."