The payoff for a rather complex and lengthy project for St. Anthony Shawnee Hospital has finally come. At an open house celebration Tuesday, the public was invited to tour the brand new facility at St. Anthony Shawnee Hospital.

Note: An in-depth look at how St. Anthony Shawnee Hospital, finishing up a major construction project, is striving to provide competitive features and aesthetics as well as more space for services to the community in an effort to encourage locals to choose to remain in Shawnee for their healthcare needs.

The payoff for a rather complex and lengthy project for St. Anthony Shawnee Hospital has finally come.

At an open house celebration Tuesday, the public was invited to tour the brand new facility at St. Anthony Shawnee Hospital.

The hospital is wrapping up an extensive construction project that is tripling the square footage of its campus without adding a single licensed bed to its facility.

The expansion is a bold effort to step firmly away from traditional –– and outdated –– methods of operation.

Chuck Skillings, hospital president, said the project is a major milestone for healthcare in the community.

“We thought we were a pretty good hospital coming into this; we are a better hospital today,” Skillings said, “because we are here every day to strive for the exceptional in everything we do and, as a result, for those of you who don't work in this building, you can benefit from those services.”

Linda E. Brown, vice president of support services and administration liaison for the construction project, said, “We believe being able to accommodate our patients in this way will help make a difference. Their doctors are already here. Our hope is they will recognize we are fully capable of providing all their care here.”

Ward 3 City Commissioner James Harrod expressing his support of the project, said, “I thought the new addition was super great –– so very proud of this facility for Shawnee.”

City Manager Justin Erickson said he thinks the new hospital tower is a wonderful addition to Shawnee.

“I’m especially thankful for the leadership team at St. Anthony Shawnee and the Avedis Foundation for making their dream a reality,” Erickson said.

The tour

The West Tower is a 119,000 square-foot, three-story addition to the hospital. It represents a significant expansion of the facility that houses the new Women's Center, intensive care unit, and surgical services.

Each floor of the new tower serves as a particular department.

Surgical services

On the ground floor, the state-of-the-art surgical services includes four operating rooms, a gastrointestinal room, cystoscopy room, and a new catheterization laboratory for cardiac care. There also will be shell space for future growth.

Intensive Care Unit

The intensive care unit, which is housed on the third floor, features 16 rooms designed with full bathrooms complete with showers. Each room has designated areas for family and nursing care. The ICU includes nursing pods between two rooms, bringing the staff closer to the patients.

“With this expansion, we are not increasing our number of licensed beds. We are providing more space and, hopefully, comfort,” Brown said.

Women's Center

On the second floor, the new Women's Center includes six labor and delivery rooms and 18 private postpartum suites. Like the ICU, nursing pods –– also called hoteling stations –– are positioned throughout, closer to patients. There is a special care nursery, which will be a locked down unit that will require specific information for entry.

Delivering more than 800 babies annually, the hospital welcomes additional space.

“We’re in about 10,000 square feet right now in the women’s center and we’re going to about 28,000 square feet,” Brown said of the women’s center. “All the rooms will be close to 300 square feet.”

The large patient rooms –– almost triple the current space –– feature flat-screen televisions, bathrooms and large windows.


• Along the west hallway of the tower, a series of framed illustrations and photos depict some of the history of medical care in Shawnee, and those who began what is today St. Anthony Shawnee Hospital. At the beginning of that journey are Dr. Roy O. Kelly and Dr. Jerold D. Kethley. Kelly began his surgical practice in 1960 at ACH Hospital in downtown Shawnee. Kethley moved to Shawnee in 1954 to work at Broadway Hospital.

The two men merged their hospitals into one new, larger hospital –– Shawnee Medical Center –– in 1967.

• On the southwest end of the second floor, a sculpture of a mother and infant stands in honor of Dr. Cynthia Alsup and Dr. Ramesh Mohan.

Alsup, an Obstetrician/Gynecologist, cared for area patients from 1991 until her death in 2013.

Mohan served the community as a pediatrician and neonatologist from 1973 until his retirement in 2008. He died in 2012.

• At the south end of the tower's lobby, a water feature has been placed in honor of Richard “Dick” Shelton, a Korean War veteran, lifelong Oklahoman and father of four.

Art Gallery Wall

Dane Pollei, chief curator at the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art, said the museum, in cooperation with Erickson and the hospital, will help manage a gallery featuring the local exhibits.

Acting as an interior design consultant for the hospital, Katie Erickson, of Colorworks, has been assembling artwork by local Oklahoma artists to showcase along a 56-foot hall that connects the new tower with the main entrance of the hospital.

The first featured artist is Lana Lopez, from Edmond.


Phase two, planned to be finished by June, will act as a facelift for the existing building. The main entrance’s curb is to transform into a zero-level entry, lending to easier accessibility.


Tell me your story ideas. You can reach Vicky O. Misa at (405) 214-3962.