January 17, 2007

USC University Hospital Dedicates The New Norris Inpatient Tower

Officials of USC University Hospital (USCUH), Tenet Healthcare Corporation and the University of Southern California on Wednesday dedicated the Norris Inpatient Tower, a 10-story, $150-million addition to USCUH in a ceremony attended by hospital staff, administrators, volunteers, physicians, and governing board members.

"Today marks another important milestone for USC/Norris Cancer Hospital and USC University Hospital that will further our shared mission of treating life-threatening disease and supporting advanced medical research," said Debbie Walsh, the administrator and chief operating officer of both hospitals. "More than eight years and thousands of hours have gone into the careful planning of this new patient tower. We're excited to finally share it with the community."

Covering more than 193,000 square feet, the new Norris Inpatient Tower includes 146 patient beds; 96 percent of the beds are in private rooms and many are dedicated to the care of cancer patients. The new tower is attached to the main USCUH facility, which increases patient care efficiency by making it easily accessible to medical staff, patients and their families.

The Norris Inpatient Tower is equipped with advanced medical technology to support the latest in clinical care. Eleven new operating rooms nearly double USCUH's surgical capacity and includes three ultra-modern operating suites that are primarily for minimally invasive surgeries. A fourth suite will be equipped with highly advanced intra-operative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) equipment that will give surgeons real-time patient images and feedback during surgery, enabling them to perform even more precise neurosurgical procedures.

Additional features of the Norris Inpatient Tower's advancements in medicine and patient care include:

An entire floor specifically designed for medical oncology inpatient care. Every room on this floor is equipped with a positive pressure system designed to shield immune suppressed patients from airborne contaminants.

A satellite pharmacy on the medical oncology floor to provide immediate chemotherapy needs to oncology patients.

A sterile processing department with some of the most advanced equipment available, including two walk-in sterilization chambers that are about five feet tall and six feet long -- large enough to sterilize three operating room carts of equipment at a time.

Dedicated elevators that connect the sterile processing department to the surgery suite, which will improve efficiency.

As one of only two major university-affiliated teaching centers in Los Angeles, the new Norris Inpatient Tower adds to Los Angeles' capacity for advanced medical research in the ongoing search for cures and treatments for cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

In the 15 years since opening its doors, USCUH has consistently grown its capacity to care for some of the area's most acutely sick patients and has become one of "America's Best Hospitals" as reported by U.S. News & World Report.

"USCUH is one of the youngest hospitals in the area, and we're proud of the fast pace of accomplishments we've achieved through our expansion. This growth has contributed to our ability to provide high quality care for our patients," said Walsh. "The dedication of the new Norris Inpatient Tower is the perfect capstone to celebrate the hospital's 15th anniversary year."


USC University Hospital (USCUH) and USC/Norris Cancer Hospital, part of Tenet California, are private, research and teaching hospitals staffed by the faculty of the renowned Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. USCUH and USC/Norris offer patients the compassionate environment of private hospitals hand-in-hand with the extensive experience and research capabilities of a prominent medical school. Both hospitals are fully accredited by the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. To learn more, visit http://www.uscuh.com or call (323) 442-8500.