female physician holds sledgehammer
Cardiologist Dr. Stephanie Dunlap was the first to take a swing in the ceremonial demolition of 6 West at AU Medical Center on Wednesday.

Construction on $13 million cardiovascular ICU begins with swing of sledgehammer


Sporting a hardhat with her white coat and armed with a gold-painted sledgehammer, Cardiologist Dr. Stephanie Dunlap took a robust swing at a sixth-floor wall inside Augusta University Medical Center.

Bam! Bam!

Cracks and indentations became holes, and debris began hitting the floor. It was so cathartic, Dunlap paused, grinned, and took several more swings at the gray sheetrock before passing off the sledgehammer to Cardiothoracic Surgery Chief Dr. Richard Lee.

Others “swinging the hammer” included Cardiology Chief Dr. Neal Weintraub, Chief Operations Officer Tim Gaillard, Chief Nursing Officer Laura Brower and Paul Smith, nurse manager for adult inpatient cardiovascular care. Watch this short video of the event.

This ceremonial demolition of 6 West helped kick off a $13 million renovation project that will transform this wing in the Sydenstricker Building into a state-of-the-art cardiovascular intensive care unit over the next 14-15 months.

Veteran employees may recall this unit formerly housed physical and occupational therapy, rehabilitation, and even the Multiple Sclerosis Center at one time.

New construction in the 19,000-square-foot wing will include 18 Cardiac Intensive Care Unit patient rooms with critical monitoring stations strategically placed outside each pair of rooms.

Additional amenities for the CV ICU include:

  • Secured access
  • Dedicated waiting room
  • Medication room
  • Clean supply room
  • Multiple nurse work stations
  • Team work rooms
  • On-call room
  • Physician and staff break rooms
  • Equipment storage room

The new CV ICU is expected to open in fall 2021.

For more information on this project, please email Project Manager Andrew Young in Facilities Planning, Design and Construction.

For the latest updates on construction and related projects, please bookmark the Pardon Our Progress page in Jagwire.

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Denise Parrish

Denise Parrish is Director of Communications for Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement at Augusta University. Contact her to schedule an interview on this topic at 706-721-9760 or mparrish@augusta.edu.

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Jagwire is your source for news and stories from Augusta University. Daily updates highlight the many ways students, faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians "bring their A games" in classrooms and clinics on four campuses in Augusta and locations across the state of Georgia.

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