April 22, 2010

Hospital to Celebrate 40th Year With $10 Million Expansion Project

by Robbie Lewis and Chris Feeney

The traditional gift for a 40th anniversary celebration is ruby. Scotland County Hospital will be celebrating its 40th year in business with something closer to a ruby mine.

On April 16th, hospital CEO Marcia Dial announced at a press conference held at the hospital’s south entrance, that the community healthcare provider has been approved for a $10 million package of grants and low-interest loans through the United States Agriculture Department (USDA). The funding paves the way for an enormous expansion and renovation project at the 40-year old facility.

Word was received on April 15th that the USDA had approved funding for a five-phase hospital expansion and renovation in Memphis as part of President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Scotland County Hospital is the recipient of nine million dollars in loans from the USDA and one million dollars in grants.

Phases I through IV of the project will add 18,926 square feet of new building addition and 13,468 square feet of renovated space at the hospital. Phase V adds 7,300 new square feet.

Phase I provides two new modern and energy efficient boilers that will replace the existing old and failing hospital boiler system. Additionally, Phase I will provide for a new emergency suite with triage exam and support space. The project will include new front entrance for the facility, a new drive under canopy, new central reception, admitting and registration areas, new main lobby and waiting room as well as vending and public restrooms. New parking and circle drives with a closed, painted helipad and site utilities are also included in Phase I.

“We are going to have a state of the art emergency facility when it is done,” said Elliott Hix, D.O., FACEP, Chief of Emergency Medicine at SCH. “We get the job done with what we have here now, but this is going to be much better for all parties involved.”



DR. Elliott Hix, Chief of Emergency Medicine at Scotland County Hospital and Marcia Dial, hospital CEO address a press conference on Friday regarding a $10 millionexpansion at SCH.

Phase II provides for a new out-patient and in-patient surgery center with a separate entrance and discharge exit. This includes a new operating room, endoscopy minor room, stage I and stage II recovery, dressing areas, new central sterile supply, support and storage. This area will be attached to the existing Women’s Center for operating room access to the existing c-section surgery suite.

“Our existing rooms are a bit antiquated, with not a lot of space,” said Celeste Miller-Parish, DO, surgeon at SCH. “The hospital was built in 1970, when a lot less equipment was available. The renovations will mean much more needed space in patient rooms and other areas.”

Dr. Miller-Parish also noted that the new OR suite will all be located in one unit, meaning patients will not be intermixing with the rest of the hospital.

“This should make for a more pleasant experience for the patient,” she said.

Phase III provides for a new critical bed nursing unit of 20 beds with new or renovated patient rooms. The new and renovated patient rooms include handicapped toilets and showers in each room. Two of the new patient rooms are set up for special care, two more for isolation and two rooms for meeting the needs of the obese patient.

The hospital will maintain its 25-bed status, but the project will ultimately double the patients’ room size.

A new nursing station includes a medicine room, dictation area, nursing report room, lockers, administration areas and support, as well as a family waiting area with toilets, a consultation room and chapel.

The old nursing unit renovation, which is part of Phase IV will house I.V. and oncology therapy, pharmacy expansion, waiting and consultation rooms, physicians lounge, physician’s on-call area and conference and education space.

Phase IV provides for renovations of the old surgery space into a consolidated radiology imaging suite. The remainder of the old surgery holding area and imaging space will be utilized for a new outpatient service center with a waiting area and toilets, consultation rooms, non-invasive cardiology testing and two sleep labs. The old emergency department will be renovated into an addition to the purchasing department and support services.

“This project will make us more efficient and will improve privacy for patients while simply generating a much better flow of services for all parties involved,” said Randy Tobler, MD, Chief of Obstetrics & Gynecology. “It will create proximity of the care givers to those receiving the care and produce a much improved comfort level.”

Phase V will provide for a library within the hospital and expands to a collaborative arrangement with the Scotland County Public Library. Through a lending agreement, the hospital would have on hand a diverse library available from novels and light reading to consumer health, music on CD, audio books and classic movies. These would be seen as a welcome activity for those confined to the hospital.

“The prospect of a library within the hospital opens great opportunities for the communities to access computers, community meeting rooms, website education and other educational opportunities,” said Dial.

Scotland County Hospital’s mission is “to improve the healthcare of our communities with services close to home.”

“The hospital’s Board of Directors, Administration, Medical Staff and employees are committed to improving the health of the communities they serve,” said Dial. “Due to the hospital’s rural location, many resources are not available. The staff at Scotland County Hospital does not believe that just because of its rural location, that essential basic medical services should not be provided. And for that reason, the hospital board and administration sought out this funding opportunity with the USDA to expand and renovate the hospital facilities to better serve the residents of the area.

“This is just one more commitment we are making to the communities we serve, in aiming to improve their health, their access to exceptional medical services & facilities, and their quality of life. We are humbled and grateful to have been approved for this funding and we are excited to add and expand services that will really address this area’s healthcare needs and improve the community’s well being well into the future.”

Dial praised the progressive efforts of the hospital board, which she said had been considering this project for approximately three years. The plan started coming together in November of 2009 when the board authorized completion of the master facility plan by Murray Company of St. Louis. The plan highlighted the hospital staff’s stability and positive financial strength of the public entity.

Financial feasibility studies were positive and private consultant reviews of the hospital verified the need for the proposed improvements.

“They came back saying exactly what we already knew, that we really needed to make these upgrades,” Dial said of the independent studies.

Construction is slated to begin this summer with a completion date of December 2011. The project will invovle construction of the four separate phases simultaneously, involving relocating some of the existing services and adjustments to public traffic patterns and access to the hospital.

“This is a very aggressive schedule, and we will be working diligently with the public to keep them informed over the next 18 to 20 months of how the work will impact public access to the hospital,” Dial said.

The latest in a series of upgrades and additions at the hospital will obviously be the most significant. In 1995 the Outpatient Center was constructed. In 1998 the physicians’ medical clinic building was added. In 2006 the Women’s Center was constructed and the following year additions were made to the clinic building and the cardiac rehab facility.

“We’ve done five building projects and we’ve done it out of our own resources or with grant money,” Dial said. “We’ve been really fortunate with our ability to get grants for good projects that are recognized as good projects.”

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