St. Rose Dominican Hospitals announced it will break ground on a new tower next year. It's one of southern Nevada's largest hospitals and will add hundreds of jobs to the Valley's still-fragile economy.
A $156 million, five-story hospital tower is proof the medical industry is growing. The new 220,000 square foot tower will add 100 new rooms to meet demand.
"It certainly will help us to better meet the needs of the community," said Teressa Conley of St. Rose Dominican Hospitals. "We've been struggling to do that because we simply don't have the beds. Our employees have also had to work in such challenging conditions."
Hospital officials expect that demand to only grow following the Supreme Court's ruling on health care reform.
"There's a lot of changes with health care and health care reform," Conley said. "A lot of what we're doing is in anticipation of that. In 2014, we are expecting around 31 million Americans will now have some type of insurance that they haven't had before."
"We are still going to get sick," said Ron Hedger of Touro University. "We have diseases that are chronic. We have an aging population."
Hedger said the health care field promises job security, and the new tower will create at least 700 new jobs when it opens in June 2015.
"With this opening and this expansion, it's greatly going to increase the ability for southern Nevadans to work again, to help turn the economy around and to give people now an opportunity to go into training they otherwise couldn't do," Hedger said.
That's good news for medical students like Shanna Baltar, who's from California. She said she might stick around in the Valley if the job opportunities are here.
"I always think expansion is a good thing in terms of hospitals and providing more physicians and health care providers to the community," Baltar said. "I think it's a really good thing."
This project will happen in phases, so the hospital plans to begin hiring people now until 2015. The neonatal intensive care unit will be the first phase to open in the summer of next year.
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