Health Care

Ground breaks for surgical center

After two years of planning, officials from Wesley Medical Center, Surgicare of Wichita and HCA broke ground Thursday for a new Surgicare facility that they say will bring more business for the 37-year-old outpatient surgical center and build on Wesley’s plans to extend its patient services beyond its east Wichita campus.

Officials from all three companies were at a ceremonial turning of dirt for the 29,000-square-foot Surgicare building, which will be at 2818 N. Greenwich, just north of K-96.

The facility will be nearly twice as big as the one it’s replacing, at 810 N. Lorraine, just west of Wesley. A larger building will help Surgicare attract additional work.

“We do anticipate more business and procedures,” said Tracie Johanek, Surgicare’s administrator.

The new building will have eight operating rooms – each measuring 500 square feet compared with 285-square-foot surgical suites at its existing building – and two procedure rooms. About 99 attending physicians use Surgicare’s operating and procedure rooms. It employs 51 people.

Wesley CEO Hugh Tappan said at the ceremony that the new facility works in concert with his hospital’s efforts to offer more outpatient services away from its main building at 550 N. Hillside.

“We want to push that out as far as we can, be as convenient as we can,” Tappan said.

Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA owns Wesley and has a 51 percent stake in Surgicare. The other 49 percent is owned by a group of physicians.

Tappan said Wesley is considering purchasing the remaining stake in Surgicare’s North Lorraine building.

The new Surgicare building is expected to open in the fourth quarter of 2012, Johanek said.

The general contractor on the project is Key Construction.