Forsyth Medical Center

Novant Health Inc. said Tuesday that it plans to upgrade a number of its facilities, including its main hospital on Silas Creek Parkway.

Novant Health Inc. said Tuesday it will make a $181.4 million multi-phased investment to upgrade several Forsyth Medical Center facilities.

It is the largest investment by Novant for its main Triad hospital and the first significant upgrade since Forsyth opened its North Tower in 2007.

“With this investment, we’re enhancing the delivery of state-of-the-art tertiary care in North Carolina,” said Chad Setliff, Forsyth’s president and chief operating officer.

Tertiary care is specialized care, usually by referral.

“Over the last few years, we’ve collected input from our patients, providers and team members to ensure this project makes the best impact for our entire community.”

The upgrades announced Tuesday represent phase 1, which will take several years to accomplish.

Phase 1 includes upgrades to patient rooms; enhancement of women’s and children’s center and services; kitchen remodel and expansion; design of a future critical care tower; and what was referred to as sustainability infrastructure.

Setliff said that represents replacing the central energy system, general tower HVAC equipment and nearly three dozen additional upgrades related to air handling, electric, water and related systems.

When phase 1 is done, 25 percent of patient rooms will be new or renovated. Existing rooms will be upgraded with attention paid to lighting, paint and noise mitigation on nursing units.

The updates to the Women & Children’s Institute & Innovation Center “have been strategically designed to best benefit mothers and families during delivery and through the transition home.”

Phase I also will serve to expand capacity in areas such as neurology and stroke care, heart and vascular, and oncology.

The renovations to Forsyth come on the heels of Novant spending more than $100 million on community hospitals in Clemmons and Kernersville.

“This level of investment (in Forsyth) shows the strength of Novant Health’s continued commitment toward growth and will provide significant benefits for the Winston-Salem community and surrounding areas,” said Joia Johnson, board chairwoman for Forsyth.

“This investment will make a positive long-term difference toward the local economy and help ensure that patients and their families continue to receive high-quality health care close to home.”

Novant also has expanded its reach through real-estate transactions, foremost spending $14.5 million on Oct. 15 to purchase the Sears properties at Hanes Mall.

Novant took over the property in January after the Sears going-out-of-business sale. It has not publicly shared its plans for the 175,000-square-foot space.

Novant closed Oct. 26 on the $9.5 million purchase of the former Veterans Administration medical clinic in Winston-Salem. Novant plans to open a neurosciences and spine center in the 57,350-square-foot facility at 190 Kimel Park Drive in December.

In October, Novant opened a $28.3 million rehabilitation hospital off Stratford Road at 2475 Hillcrest Center. Novant and Encompass Health of Birmingham, Ala., developed the hospital, which will feature 68 private patient rooms and a physical therapy gym.

The hospital is geared toward serving patients who have experienced debilitating illnesses and injuries, such as stroke, spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, hip fractures and amputations.

Recent expansions also include opening or forming partnerships for at least 27 urgent care and other clinics in the county, as well as a $13.1 million, 60,000-square-foot multi-specialty ambulatory surgical center set to open this summer on its Clemmons Medical Center campus.

Setliff said Novant is dedicated to “getting the best use of each facility and leveraging our organic infrastructure.”

“We’re always looking for opportunities to grow from an economies of scale perspective.

“We will remain deliberate in our reviews, making sure there is a good culture and services alignment and we can leverage our ability to expand care and complement what we already have.”

rcraver@wsjournal.com 336-727-7376 @rcraverWSJ

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