Nick Jacobs, head of Windber Medical Center and Windber Research Institute, posted earlier this week about an expansion project at his organization. In an era of new heart towers and exponential bed growth, it’s good to hear about an expansion project that benefits the community in a way other than providing more bed capacity.
The future (now!?) of hospitals will be the value they can provide to the communities they serve. What better way than to become a community gathering place, a place for “at risk kids (those in danger of problems brought on by obesity),” for researchers to video teleconference, for employees to interact, for support groups to meet? Applause to Windber for this terrific addition. It’s something you would expect from an innovative hospital.
The possibilities are truly endless. Becoming a centerpiece of community development and sustainability is a role that can be fulfilled by hospitals. This concept is easier to imagine at smaller and rural hospitals, but it’s one that everyone should be incorporating in new expansion projects.
The primary role of a hospital will remain, it’s the peripheral roles that will define what we become.