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Methodist Hospital Union County is Expanding and Relocating Emergency Room.

Methodist Hospital Union County is Expanding and Relocating Emergency Room.

WMSK Staff

December 29th, 2016

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Methodist Hospital Union County to relocate and expand Emergency Room

The Methodist Hospital board of directors has approved a $4.9 million project that will primarily focus on the relocation and expansion of the Emergency Room at Methodist Hospital Union County in Morganfield to more effectively handle a larger number of patients. Breaking ground in spring 2017, the new Emergency Room is scheduled for completion by December, 2017.

The project will nearly triple the amount of space to 5,600 square feet; more than double the number of treatment rooms and allow the staff to treat nearly 50 percent more patients. The current Emergency Room, built in 1970, has 1,937 square feet and features three treatment rooms and an eight-seat waiting area that shares space with an access hallway.

Designs approved by the hospital board feature four emergency treatment rooms and three non-emergent care treatment rooms to handle less acute cases. Plans are to enlarge the size of the waiting room to further increase comfort and privacy for patients’ families. Other upgrades include a larger staging area for patients arriving by ambulance and improved access to the helipad. There also will be a decontamination area for patients who have been exposed to dangerous chemicals.

“The facility has earned distinction as a Level 4 Trauma Center and this capital improvement project is in keeping with Methodist’s commitment to Union County,” said Gary R. Colberg, FACHE, President and CEO at Methodist Hospital.

“It’s a big investment, and it’s the right investment to make in the area’s only critical access hospital,” Colberg added. “A bonus to our relocation and expansion plan is that we will be able to update the entrance to the hospital, giving it a brand-new look without additional expense.”

Pat Donahue, Methodist Hospital Union County Vice President/Administrator, who is retiring in January after 30 years with the hospital, calls the project one of the most exciting of his career.

“I’m just so excited for the community,” Donahue said. “It will give us the room needed to do what our emergency staff is trained to do when treating emergency patients.”

Another advantage is improved visibility, Donahue explained. “As it stands now, the Emergency Room is located at the rear of the hospital. That makes it difficult for people to locate it and for ambulances to access. The relocation will move the Emergency Room to the front of the campus, where it will be easier to see and access.”

Designs will be submitted to the state’s Department of Housing, Building and Construction for approval. There will be no interruption of emergency services during construction.

“This investment in our community’s emergency response capacity is welcome news,” said Maulik Desai, MD, and Chief of Staff for Methodist Hospital Union County. “Access to quality medical care in rural areas is a growing concern for communities across America, particularly the availability of emergency services. The board has recognized this need and responded with much needed funding for a state of the art facility with capacity to treat 12,000 patients and their families yearly. This is the kind of leadership that is needed to address rural health care in America.”

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