Chapel Hill News

UNC’s Hillsborough hospital debuts, more services coming in July, August

UNC Hospitals welcomed the public to its Hillsborough campus with an open house Saturday, June 20, 2015, in the Waterstone Drive neighborhood. The campus now has three buildings – medical offices, patient beds, and diagnostic, emergency and treatment facilities – with room to grow in the future. Roughly 400 people will work at the new hospital, about 75 percent of whom are moving from the main campus in Chapel Hill.
UNC Hospitals welcomed the public to its Hillsborough campus with an open house Saturday, June 20, 2015, in the Waterstone Drive neighborhood. The campus now has three buildings – medical offices, patient beds, and diagnostic, emergency and treatment facilities – with room to grow in the future. Roughly 400 people will work at the new hospital, about 75 percent of whom are moving from the main campus in Chapel Hill. tgrubb@newsobserver.com

UNC Health Care’s new hospital was built to represent the best of North Carolina’s people and places, hospital officials said.

The campus, at 430 Waterstone Drive, ditches hospital whites for sky blues, warm yellows and spring greens. Individual floors reflect the state’s Piedmont, mountain and coastal regions, filtering light through sea grass- and flower-embedded glass dividers and accenting walls with native art.

The first-floor offices reflect Hillsborough’s history, with photo reprints dating to the 1800s, said Jeff Strickler, associate vice president of the Hillsborough campus.

“We really tried to move it away from sterile to be brighter, more open, and it’s a little more peaceful and healing,” he said.

The 265,000 square-foot hospital, about a mile from Interstate 40 and within site of Durham Tech’s Orange County campus, cost just over $200 million to build. The surrounding, 337-acre Waterstone neighborhood is growing and could eventually house thousands of new residents.

The 58-acre Hillsborough campus was approved in 2010, and the medical office building opened in 2013. The main building – offering diagnostics, surgery and treatment – and new patient “bed tower” will have its official debut Saturday.

The 68-bed hospital offers private rooms, with separate waiting rooms and unlicensed beds for less-critical problems and short-term observation.

Roughly 75 percent of the hospital’s 400 employees are coming from the Chapel Hill campus. They will open the emergency department July 6, followed by six operating rooms, two procedure rooms and in-patient services in August. Speciality services will include joint and elective spinal surgeries, non-cancer gynecological treatment and eye-related concerns.

Carolina AirCare will take serious trauma and heart attack patients to Chapel Hill.

Carla Jones, who will lead critical care and third-floor acute services, said she’s looking forward to building her team and finding creative solutions.

“It’s a new and exciting opportunity to just really get embedded into a community,” Jones said. “To be able to see people within the community come here, work, own this, and create (innovative) standards in hospital care.”

Patient food is also critical to care, Strickler said.

“We believe more in providing foods that people will eat, they want to eat – within reason – that would be more like what they would eat at home, so we can adjust their treatment accordingly,” he said. “Food is an important part of healing. It’s an important part of your psychological health.”

A fourth floor could be added this year, he said, and up to 258 beds in the future.

“Hillsborough Hospital is part of UNC’s answer to (improving) access to the patients that we serve,” he said. “It just kind of a changing of the mindset and matching the services to the patient need.”

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