Nearly “In the Dry”

The 59,000 square foot Texas County Memorial Hospital expansion project is almost “in the dry”, Wes Murray, chief executive officer at TCMH, told board members at their monthly meeting on Tuesday.

Murray reported that the main roof of the construction is complete. The smaller portions around the new construction are still being roofed.

One of the “little” portions of roof awaiting completion this week.

“We have made a lot of headway externally and internally,” Murray said, noting that the grade for the new South driveway and the driveway in front of the new construction are complete.

“They are pouring curbs for the new parking lot today, and we are on track to have our front parking lot back in mid-October,” Murray said.

Murray again complemented hospital employees for the efforts made to support the construction by parking in alternate and off campus locations during the parking lot construction and paving.

The columns that will have canopies over them at the new front entrance have been bricked.

A subcontractor smooths out the concrete at the entrance, between the canopy pillars at the TCMH main entrance.

Window frames are also being installed this week. Glass for the frames has been cut and will be delivered this week, too.

Stud walls for most of the first floor are in place. Stud walls are going up in the second floor.

During a tour following Tuesday’s board meeting, Wes Murray, chief executive officer at Texas County Memorial Hospital, and Omanez Fockler (right), chairperson of the TCMH board of trustees, stand in the doorway of one of the semi-private rooms on the 2nd floor of the hospital expansion project. The stud walls for the nurses’ station, dictation room, medication room, dictation room, offices and more, are framed up behind them. Fockler was “so impressed” with the layout of the new patient care area.

“It’s hard to keep Doretta out of the construction project,” Murray quipped regarding TCMH’s chief nursing officer, Doretta Todd-Willis.

“Seeing the rooms and the new nurse work stations was one of the best days of my career,” Todd-Willis said.

The new medical surgical floor features six large semi-private rooms. Four of the rooms are designed for bariatric patients, and two of the rooms are designed for negative pressure for isolation patients. There are also 20 private patient rooms.

“With the stud walls going up we are able to see where the nutrition and medication rooms are located,” Murray said about the new medical surgical floor. “There’s a conference room, a physician dictation room, an education room, several offices and nurse work areas.”

Todd-Willis and Fockler stand inside a private patient room. Each patient room will have a large picture window that will take up most of one wall.

Todd Willis describes to Fockler the various fixtures that will be in place in each patient room. The small window to the left of Todd-Willis will allow staff to view the patient in the room without having to open the door and walk into the room to see the patient and potentially disturb him or her.

Murray noted that these new spaces do not currently exist in the hospital’s medical surgical floor.

Spacious waiting areas with complete walls of natural light are also part of the new medical surgical floor.

Murray explained that CoxHealth in Springfield is going to allow TCMH to participate in a special buying program to get a discount on furniture for the waiting areas throughout the new construction.

“By allowing us to utilize their discount through their medical purchasing program, they will in turn generate business that will allow them a larger discount,” Murray said.

“It’s a win-win,” Dr. John Duff, CoxHealth representative said.

A mock up of an inpatient room and a mock up of an emergency department patient observation room have been completed for hospital staff to view and to provide feedback before completing all the rooms. The rooms have been outfitted with hardware, cabinetry, some lighting and plumbing as well as utilizing the chosen paint colors for the rooms.

“It’s really all coming together,” Murray said. “These are very exciting times.”

Murray explained to board members that current phasing for the expansion project shows the first floor of the construction being moved into before the second floor. The emergency room, the radiology department and the registration department will move to the first floor sometime around March 2013, and the second floor move for the medical surgical department should take place later.

Murray also reported that bids for the project management of the FEMA tornado safe room and the new surgery department have been gathered and are being studied.

“We want to make sure we are comparing apples to apples, but we also know we need to move forward with this project,” Murray said.

TCMH is required to complete the tornado safe room by October 2014 in order to receive federal grant funds for the project.

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