Intensive construction

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Al Key/DRC
An expansion to Heart Hospital Baylor Denton is under construction on Mayhill Road on Thursday.

Heart Hospital Baylor Denton’s $20 million expansion underway

A $20 million expansion of Heart Hospital Baylor Denton, formerly North Texas Hospital, is underway to add six intensive care suites and a cardiovascular operating room, in addition to interior renovations already completed, officials said.

The hospital, which was acquired by Baylor in May, reopened as a Baylor facility in January.

“With that [addition], it’s a 22-bed hospital dedicated to heart and vascular health, where the facility will do everything from cardiovascular wellness to open heart surgery,” said hospital president Mark Valentine.

This is the second Heart Hospital Baylor in the North Texas area, following a Plano location that was acquired and reopened in January 2007. Valentine is president of that hospital as well and said they will complement each other in caring for patients in the region.

“... With the Plano location, how it came from a community hospital to a regional one to a nationally recognized hospital, we felt that we could use that same road map that made it successful in Plano, and move it to Denton County,” he said.

Baylor has devoted $20 million to renovating the Denton facility, Valentine said. Phase one involved a complete interior renovation of the hospital that included expansion of the emergency department services from one room to five and the addition of new space for laboratory work, pharmaceuticals and other needs.

Phase two, now being built, will add the additional suites and the operating room, Valentine said.

The Plano location sees referrals from outside of Texas, and hospital administrators felt there was enough of a demand to open a second location in the area, Valentine said.

Currently, there are approximately 35 full-time physicians at the Denton hospital covering a range of specialties within cardiovascular health.

The Denton location also features one of three 256-slice CT scanners in the state, Valentine said. The new machine exposes patients to one-tenth of the radiation of other CT scanners, he said.

“That’s very, very important because when we do heart and vascular surgery, we use that CT to evaluate all the specifics of the heart from a structural perspective,” he said.

Once phase two of construction is completed by May 1, the hospital will be about 100,000 square feet and have room to grow with the community, Valentine said.

JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6889 and via Twitter at @JennaFDuncan.

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