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Published on August 24, 2012

Billings Clinic announces plans to construct two new facilities to care for patients with cardiovascular disease

Billings, MT — Billings Clinic announces plans to construct a major new outpatient Cardiac Center and an inpatient hospital unit specifically designated for heart patients. The new hospital unit will replace a 30 plus year old Ambulatory Telemetry Unit (ATU). Last year, the 2011 Billings Clinic Classic raised $1 million for Cardiac Services, and those funds combined with this year's Classic and other fund raising efforts of the Billings Clinic Foundation will help support construction of the two new facilities for cardiac patients. The balance of funding for the projects will come from funding Billings Clinic has set aside for its master campus expansion plans.

The new Cardiac Center will relocate outpatient cardiac services from the 27th Street Medical Building to Billings Clinic's downtown multi-specialty clinic building. This move will allow for greater coordination of care between the multitude of departments that work together caring for heart patients. Construction of the 20,000 square foot clinic-based Cardiac Center will begin this fall. The new center will occupy the fourth floor of a two story structure that will be added to the existing clinic building. Several portions of the downtown clinic building were designed for vertical expansion. This section of the building can go up two floors while other sections can go up four additional floors. For this two floor expansion, the fourth floor will house areas for the cardiology clinic, heart failure clinic, device clinic, cardiac testing, heart monitoring procedures, electrophysiology, nuclear stress testing, and cardiac rehabilitation. The new cardiac rehabilitation area will be substantially larger than the current facility and will give cardiac rehab patients a panoramic view of downtown Billings, Dehler Park and the rims. The third floor of the new clinic building addition will be held for future expansion.

This winter, Billings Clinic will begin construction of a new Ambulatory Telemetry Unit (ATU), a hospital-based unit dedicated to the care of patients with cardiovascular illnesses. The new unit will support the advanced care required for hospitalized patients with significant cardiovascular illness, such as those patients recovering from a recent heart attack, stroke, or heart surgery. This new unit will be constructed in space that was built for future expansion on the third floor of the hospital wing that houses the Emergency and Trauma Center and Inpatient Cancer Care unit. The new ATU will grow from its current size of 10,000 square feet to 27,000 square feet. In addition to the larger size of the unit, each room size will nearly double in square footage to better accommodate the latest technology used for inpatient cardiac care. The larger space is integral to the delivery of team-based care and provides the option of a sleeper sofa for a loved one to stay in the room with the patient. Also featured in the design of the new ATU are private family education and consultation rooms, comfortable and inviting waiting areas, and oversized windows to increase daylight in patient rooms.

“Billings Clinic established the first cardiac surgery program in Montana and cardiac services has been a hallmark and center of excellence for us for 30 years,” shared Nicholas Wolter, MD, CEO of Billings Clinic. “It is time for us to upgrade our current work space and to provide a state of the art facility that supports advances in technology, surgical capability and provides an environment where cardiothoracic surgeons, cardiologists and the team of people that care for our patients can work in close proximity to each other.”

Continuing a long-standing tradition, Billings Clinic is using local architects and general contractors to lead the design and construction of these two projects. CTA Architects is designing the new clinic-based Cardiac Center and Hardy Construction will serve as general contractor. The new cardiovascular unit in the hospital will have High Tech Construction Company as the general contractor and A&E Architects as the design team. The cost for the two projects is $10.9 million for construction, technology and other state-of-the-art equipment and furnishings. Estimated completion is late 2013 for both projects.

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