St. Francis hospital putting finishing touches on $108 million expansion

st francis expansion 1 scaled

Bon Secours has expanded St. Francis Medical Center in Chesterfield with a two-story, 110,000-square-foot addition. The new construction was built over existing facilities across from the helipad. (Courtesy Bon Secours)

After more than two years of construction, a nine-figure expansion project at St. Francis Medical Center is coming to fruition.

Bon Secours is largely finished with its project to add a two-story, 110,000-square-foot addition to the hospital near Midlothian.

The $108 million project included 55 new acute-care beds, as well as renovations to 70,000 square feet of existing space and other new equipment. It brings St. Francis to about 463,000 square feet in size.

The additional acute-care beds are anticipated to be fully operational by early June, according to St. Francis COO Joey Trapani. He said they will bring the hospital’s acute-care bed count to 185.

Also included in the project is the addition of 10 new observation beds, as well as four more beds in the neonatal intensive care unit for a total of 14 beds in that department. A new MRI machine, a new outpatient pharmacy, and expanded intensive care unit were also part of the additions.

The project is the largest to take place at St. Francis since it opened in 2005, and was pursued by the health system to keep up with the demands that come with a growing population in Chesterfield County, St. Francis President Joe Wilkins said.

“At that point in time there wasn’t much out here. But now, as we know, the Hull Street corridor is expanding,” Wilkins said. “There’s an influx of people that are moving here. We want to make sure we have the correct services to take care of those people.”

bonsecours2 scaled

Joe Wilkins

Wilkins said the St. Francis emergency room, along with its two affiliated free-standing emergency centers near Westchester Commons in Midlothian and in Chester, have seen an increase in visits in the last several years and that a notable subset of those patients end up in need of hospitalization.

“We have seen a tremendous increase in ED visits from those three ERs, and on average about 15% to 18% of those patients need admission to a hospital bed. So when you have an increase in those ED patients, and those patients need a place to be admitted, we need to have capacity to take care of them,” Wilkins said.

The three emergency departments reported 6,342 visits in April 2024, compared to 2,242 visits in May 2022, which is the year the Chester ER opened.

Wilkins said the Chester facility had about 28,000 patient visits in 2023, making it the busiest free-standing emergency center across Bon Secours Mercy Health, which is the U.S. division of the Ireland-based health system.

To staff the additional space and meet demand, the hospital plans to add 100 more employees to its ranks. Bon Secours said an unspecified number of positions have been filled and that hiring was still ongoing.

St. Francis currently has a little more than 1,000 employees.

Bon Secours broke ground on the St. Francis project in late 2021. The health system tapped Skanska to serve as general contractor, Gresham Smith to handle architectural design and WSP to do the engineering.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the project’s completion is scheduled for May 30.

As the hospital expansion project wraps up, more growth is in store for the St. Francis campus.

Bon Secours plans to build a new outpatient surgical center on an undeveloped parcel at 13701 Bon Secours Drive. The center, which is estimated to cost $17.5 million and be completed by July 2026, has been in the works for several years and in late 2023 got state regulatory approval to proceed.

On an adjacent property, Virginia Physicians for Women is planning to build an 18,000-square-foot office to replace the medical practice’s existing outpost at the St. Francis campus.

st francis expansion 1 scaled

Bon Secours has expanded St. Francis Medical Center in Chesterfield with a two-story, 110,000-square-foot addition. The new construction was built over existing facilities across from the helipad. (Courtesy Bon Secours)

After more than two years of construction, a nine-figure expansion project at St. Francis Medical Center is coming to fruition.

Bon Secours is largely finished with its project to add a two-story, 110,000-square-foot addition to the hospital near Midlothian.

The $108 million project included 55 new acute-care beds, as well as renovations to 70,000 square feet of existing space and other new equipment. It brings St. Francis to about 463,000 square feet in size.

The additional acute-care beds are anticipated to be fully operational by early June, according to St. Francis COO Joey Trapani. He said they will bring the hospital’s acute-care bed count to 185.

Also included in the project is the addition of 10 new observation beds, as well as four more beds in the neonatal intensive care unit for a total of 14 beds in that department. A new MRI machine, a new outpatient pharmacy, and expanded intensive care unit were also part of the additions.

The project is the largest to take place at St. Francis since it opened in 2005, and was pursued by the health system to keep up with the demands that come with a growing population in Chesterfield County, St. Francis President Joe Wilkins said.

“At that point in time there wasn’t much out here. But now, as we know, the Hull Street corridor is expanding,” Wilkins said. “There’s an influx of people that are moving here. We want to make sure we have the correct services to take care of those people.”

bonsecours2 scaled

Joe Wilkins

Wilkins said the St. Francis emergency room, along with its two affiliated free-standing emergency centers near Westchester Commons in Midlothian and in Chester, have seen an increase in visits in the last several years and that a notable subset of those patients end up in need of hospitalization.

“We have seen a tremendous increase in ED visits from those three ERs, and on average about 15% to 18% of those patients need admission to a hospital bed. So when you have an increase in those ED patients, and those patients need a place to be admitted, we need to have capacity to take care of them,” Wilkins said.

The three emergency departments reported 6,342 visits in April 2024, compared to 2,242 visits in May 2022, which is the year the Chester ER opened.

Wilkins said the Chester facility had about 28,000 patient visits in 2023, making it the busiest free-standing emergency center across Bon Secours Mercy Health, which is the U.S. division of the Ireland-based health system.

To staff the additional space and meet demand, the hospital plans to add 100 more employees to its ranks. Bon Secours said an unspecified number of positions have been filled and that hiring was still ongoing.

St. Francis currently has a little more than 1,000 employees.

Bon Secours broke ground on the St. Francis project in late 2021. The health system tapped Skanska to serve as general contractor, Gresham Smith to handle architectural design and WSP to do the engineering.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the project’s completion is scheduled for May 30.

As the hospital expansion project wraps up, more growth is in store for the St. Francis campus.

Bon Secours plans to build a new outpatient surgical center on an undeveloped parcel at 13701 Bon Secours Drive. The center, which is estimated to cost $17.5 million and be completed by July 2026, has been in the works for several years and in late 2023 got state regulatory approval to proceed.

On an adjacent property, Virginia Physicians for Women is planning to build an 18,000-square-foot office to replace the medical practice’s existing outpost at the St. Francis campus.

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Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
2 months ago

Probably the nicest hospital I’ve seen in my life — a friend of mine gave birth there and I was blown away how much the place seemed like a resort like I hear about those Medical Tourism places in places like Thailand where very few of the patients are actually natives. I’ve seen the inside of quite a few hospitals in my time, and worked in four, and have seen a few really nice ones but this one took the case. No opinion about the quality of care though — no idea. It’s a Bon Secours run one? What is… Read more »