It’s a whole new day in health care with an extension of space and a greater focus on wellness at Capital Region Medical Center.

A recent completion of a 120,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art expansion allows Capital Region Medical Center to modernize the way it delivers health care. While the new space is esthetically pleasing, the internal changes have shifted focus to become even more patient centered.

“The response has been overwhelming to these well-planned upgrades,” says Gaspare Calvaruso, president of Capital Region Medical Center. “Patients appreciate the benefits of a more relaxed, one-stop experience. For  instance, inpatient and outpatient services are conveniently located close to the hospital entrance. The pharmacy is nearby inpatient and outpatient appointment areas so after a visit, prescriptions are more quickly and easily filled.

Capital Region interior sitting room“Covered parking with more available spaces allows direct access to the hospital, so patients can park on the same floor as their appointment,” he says. “Additionally, many physician offices have relocated to the Doctor’s Park building, which is steps from the hospital instead of miles away like before. Other new departments include an ENT and Audiology clinic, an occupational medicine clinic and a physical therapy gym. All of these additions have been very well received.”

Certain changes as a result of the Affordable Care Act mean providers must move toward a prevention approach. As a longtime advocate for health and wellness, Capital Region is familiar with such an outlook.

“Historically, health care has been about treating the sick, but through the Affordable Care Act, we are being asked to focus on prevention as well as treatment,” Calvaruso says. “We were the first and are still the only hospital to offer a hospital-based fitness facility, which is located in the Sam B. Cook Healthplex.

“In addition to our long-standing commitment to wellness, these changes drove us to put an even greater emphasis on the outpatient environment and also caused a need for rapid growth within our physicians group,” he says. “As a result, the decision to consolidate our specialists and expand the medical center was an easy one. With the Doctor’s Park building available, we had the perfect setting for a successful project.”

Capital Region interior sitting roomOne of the most striking features of the expansion is the new outpatient area where patients can relax between appointments in comfortable, over-sized chairs or to take time to bask in the natural sunlight from overhead skylights and amply-sized windows. Impossible to overlook is the attractive local artwork that portrays the natural beauty and surroundings of the capital city area. While all of the elements are indeed beautiful, the space is  designed for efficient flow and easy access, which makes the overall experience all the better.

“We couldn’t be happier about the physical changes,” Calvaruso says. “We wanted the new space to be inviting and comfortable, and it is. The additions are all certainly good, important and well-instituted, however, what does remain is our compassionate and tremendous team of physicians, nurses, techs, aids and staff. The new building is, without a doubt, innovative and a true asset to our community, but it’s nothing without a great team inside. Fortunately, I have the privilege of working with great people and witnessing the amazing job they do every day.”

As a community hospital located in the heart of town, Capital Region strives to be a strong supporter of Jefferson City in more ways than one. With the expansion, for instance, 80 percent of the work was done by local  companies. And now that construction is complete, there will be more ways to engage the public with the newly opened Tunnell/Wherritt Community Conference Center.

Capital Region Gift Shop“Our Community Conference Center provides a great venue for us to hold educational events to improve health literacy,” says Rita Kempker, executive director of the Capital Region Medical Foundation. “Education about wellness was identified as an area of need in our recent Community Health Needs Assessment project. We are also looking for ways to enhance the area around our campus by working with local groups to beautify the area and strengthen our partnerships. All of these are positive steps toward building a stronger, healthier, more productive community.”

Long-term goals for the facility include adding more physicians and services to meet the growing needs of local communities. And as the local population ages, Capital Region continues to identify and forecast future needs. With these projections in mind, the expansion was designed with shell space so that more providers can be easily
added as future needs require.

“We expect to see continued growth within the Capital Region Physicians Group, and we see the need to look for ways to improve access not only to our local communities but to the rural communities we serve as well,” says Tom Niekamp, vice president of physician relations.

More recently, Capital Region has partnered with the Missouri Foundation for Health and is currently working with the Eldon School District to teach students and families about making better health choices in many areas. Eventually, this same program will branch out to Versailles and Jefferson City Public Schools.

“We will also focus on managing population health,” says Janet Weckenborg, vice president of operations.  “Through programs and tools being developed by various groups including our affiliate, University of Missouri Health Care, we are looking at areas of greatest need that will make a positive impact with the health of our patients. These findings will help drive future decisions with which physicians we recruit and what educational  opportunities we provide among other things.”

As a full-service community hospital with an expansive clinic network, Capital Region claims continued access to health services that are comprehensive, high quality and convenient. And in the event a higher level of care is needed, their longstanding connection to the University of Missouri Health Care System allows for a seamless
transition of care.

“Yes, our additional services are strengths for us, and our team of trusted experts delivers collaborative and comprehensive health care that is compassionate and convenient,” Calvaruso says. “This is the new way health
care is being provided, and it’s only available at Capital Region Medical Center.”

According to Calvaruso, “What’s more, we know our community, we are the community. We are the fourth largest employer in Jefferson City, and we take great pride in our exceptional, experienced tenured staff.

“I believe the views from our facility say everything,” he says. “When you look out certain windows, you see our beautiful downtown and state capitol, and it’s a spectacular sight. We are thrilled to be able to have this wonderful space to provide advanced medicine with such an amazing backdrop.”

Capital Region Medical Center
1125 Madison St.