St. Agnes begins major change

Three years from now, St. Agnes HealthCare in Baltimore will look completely different. Today, the biggest visible change is the loop road that’s been started; it eventually will provide access to a new 120-bed patient tower.

“It’s very exciting right now because you can see where the main road is going to be … it gives you a sense of how large our building is going to be,” said Sherry Welch, president of the St. Agnes Foundation.

A new parking garage on the Wilkens Road side of the campus is a third of the way done, and will be finished by July, said William C. Greskovich, vice president of operations and CIO of St. Agnes HealthCare. St. Agnes will break ground for a second garage this spring and construction will begin on a new medical office building within the year.

Once the patient tower, which will have private rooms, is completed in 2010, then the cancer center will be renovated and expanded by 2011. The Daughters of Charity who reside on the campus will also gain a new residence; their old home will be torn down to make way for construction.

The hospital will continue to provide about 200 beds; after the new tower is built, the old shared patient rooms will be converted to private rooms.

Private rooms not only reduce infection, Ms. Welch noted, but they’re more efficient and more sensitive to the differing needs of patients and their families.

Together the expansion and improvements will total more than $200 million.

St. Agnes is conducting a capital campaign, “Beacon of Hope,” to help pay for the much-needed improvements to a facility that broke ground in 1957. In recent years, St. Agnes has focused money on technological improvements, rather than bricks and mortar, Ms. Welch added.

The campaign hopes to raise $25 million by 2012; to date it has raised $5.75 million. “Our employees are very generous,” Ms. Welch said, noting the campaign will begin reaching out to the community in February.

Barbara Bozzuto, whose husband, Tom, is one of the founding partners of the Bozzuto Group, will chair the campaign, and Marc Bunting, whose family has long been active in philanthropy, will chair the campaign’s major donor committee.

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.