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To meet the changing needs of its patients, Mississippi Valley Surgery Center began construction Monday on an $8 million modernization project at its longtime Davenport facility.

Nearly a dozen employees — many dressed in scrubs and all with the distinction of working there since the facility opened 21 years ago — were joined by the center's doctors for a ceremonial ground-breaking. Although the start of a rainstorm rushed the festivities, the audience marked celebrated the kick-off of a 16,000-square-foot addition and a related renovation of the facility at 3400 Dexter Court.

"After 21 years of providing health care and innovative surgical care, we are focused on continuing that legacy," said Michael Patterson, the surgery center's president and CEO. The gathering of about 70 included doctors, nurses and staff as well as city representatives, Quad-Cities Chamber of Commerce representatives and the project development team.

The project, approved by the Iowa Department of Public Health State Health Facilities Council, will include an addition to accommodate a redesign and modernization as well as added room to increase the number of overnight patient rooms from six to 14.

"We've redesigned it so every patient has a private room," Patterson said after the ceremony. The project is focused on pre-operation and post-operation areas and needs, and does not alter the actual surgical facilities. The expansion and renovation, which will be done in four phases, "still allows us to serve all our patients and surgeons' needs," he said.

Opened in 1996, Mississippi Valley Surgery Center is one of a handful of U.S. surgery centers performing minimally invasive outpatient total joint replacement and spine surgeries since the mid 1990s. 

"Patient demands have changed," he said. "They want patient-friendly, family-friendly rooms and private spaces."

About 175,000 patients have been served since the center's inception. Patterson said only about 10 percent of the surgical patients require an overnight stay. But with additional inpatient rooms, the center expects between 3-10 percent growth in patients.

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The project is part of the surgery center's strategic plan, which it recently completed in partnership with UnityPoint Health Trinity and Surgical Care Affiliates.

In addition to joint replacement and spine surgery, the center has the newest technology for laser cataract surgery, retinal surgery, balloon sinuplasty for ENT, carpal tunnel and other advanced specialties.

According to Patterson, the second president/CEO to lead the center, "There has been a national trend of shifting from inpatient to outpatient care and it continues to grow. We want to be ready for the next several decades." 

The development team includes Bush Construction, BLDD Architects and IMEG.

During the brief ceremony, Davenport Mayor Frank Klipsch applauded the investment in Davenport and thanked the center "ultimately for the many, many people you will serve."

The center employs 110 people including between 40 and 50 surgeons and anesthesiologists. Patterson said the expansion will only add a few new positions and will not involve any new medical services. But as demand for outpatient surgery grows and technology improves, it will allow for more complex procedures to be performed outpatient.

The work is expected to be completed by fall of 2018 and open by Nov. 1, 2018. Ongoing updates will be posted at facebook.com/MississippiValleySurgeryCenter.

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