Baton Rouge General’s expansion and renovation of its Regional Burn Center, which began in early 2020, will be unveiled at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday. But on Tuesday, Business Report got a first look at the space.
Fundraising for the $6 million project began in 2016 with BRG Foundation’s RISE campaign, says Erik Showalter, foundation president.
The newly expanded center has eight rooms, four for inpatient services and four for ICU patients. All eight feature upgraded hospital beds, state-of-the-art monitoring systems, technology to remove static electricity from bed sheets and air quality systems that reduce infection risk, Showalter says.
BRG looked at a census of burn patients it treated each year to decide the number of rooms the center would need, and doubled the size of its ICU rooms because burn patients tend to need ICU care longer.
The new pediatric playroom includes projected interactive games on the room’s floor and walls, which is fun for kids being treated in the unit, Showalter says, but is also a good way for them to stretch, move new skin and rebuild muscles.
The crown jewel of the new unit, however, is a large outdoor garden and play area featuring adjustable shades and infection prevention measures.
“They really thought of everything,” Showalter says, “from the air quality, to the temperature regulation inside, to the setup of the outdoor garden area.”
The new burn clinic’s outpatient center is open and has been seeing patients since being completed in March, Showalter says. The new addition’s entrance is located closer to a side parking lot to allow for patients’ privacy, he says, something the hospital deemed important.
“I think the most important thing is that the money we raised is already being put to work,” Showalter says. “As it’s coming in, it’s going straight to patient care, and that was the focal point of everything we did in the new burn center.”