Union Hospital is poised to begin a new era in emergency medical care for the Tuscarawas County community. The new Union Hospital Lauren Emergency Center will begin serving emergency patients in mid-March.
The addition of the Emergency Center building addition brings a dramatic change to the look of the hospital’s 25-acre campus. The building itself is two levels attached to the back of the main hospital building. The first floor is the patient care level and is aligned with the hospital’s first floor. The ground floor of the Emergency Center includes support space for hospital staff, EMS and Security.
“Our goals were to build a new facility to better meet patient needs, enhance the patient’s experience, and better serve the ever-increasing numbers of people seeking emergency medical care,” said Carey Gardner, Union Hospital Director of Community Relations. “This new Emergency Center meets those goals and will enable Union Hospital to provide 21st Century emergency medical care to patients for many years to come.”
Gardner said construction of the patient care area was completed by the end of January.
“Throughout February we are installing medical and information technology, testing and calibrating equipment, thoroughly cleaning every square inch, and taking care of many hundreds of details while preparing for the first patients to arrive later in mid-March,” he said. “We have established March 17 as the date to begin caring for patients in the new Emergency Center. Very early that morning emergency patients will be admitted to the new facility as they arrive.
“Patients remaining in the old “ER” will be cared for there by physicians and nurses until ready for discharge. Over a 24-hour period or less, the transition will be complete.”
Gardner said a Mobilization Team representing a dozen hospital departments has been meeting regularly to plan and coordinate the opening.
“It’s amazing how complex the process is to make a seamless transition, moving patient care from the current “ER” into the entirely new Emergency Center,” he said.
Prior to opening the door to patients, Union Hospital will conduct a series of open house tours for the public, hospital employees, donors and the medical staff. The public open house will be Sunday, March 6, from 1 to 3 p.m.
Gardner said opening the Emergency Center for patient care will mark the end of Phase One of the construction project and the start of Phase Two. The second phase will include renovation of the existing patient entrance, reception and registration areas, and the existing office space in the former Emergency Express area.
“Phase Two will take about four months to complete,” he said. “During that time all emergency patients will enter through doors at the back of the lower level. A temporary reception and triage area will be opened just inside that entrance and additional staff will assist patients with parking, wayfinding and wheelchair transport.”
By mid-summer Gardner said the project will be finished, nearly two years after ground was broken in August 2014.
“Now that we’re nearing the end of this project it seems to have gone quickly,” he said. “Great weather last summer and fall meant no delays and the project is being finished right on its construction budget of $14 million with an additional $3.7 million invested in new medical equipment.”
The Lauren identity has been incorporated into the name of the Union Hospital Lauren Emergency Center as the result of a $1-million donation to the project capital campaign by Lauren International of New Philadelphia. Dozens of other gifts and grants have helped the campaign reach approximately $3.1 million in total donations. Campaign gifts are still being accepted. Potential donors may contact Monte Ball, Director of Development, by calling (330) 602-0789.
Gardner said he expects Phase Two work on the project to be completed by mid-summer.
“At that time we plan to have the formal dedication ceremony and cut a ribbon to mark the completion of the Union Hospital Lauren Emergency Center,” he said.
Project updates and information are provided frequently at www.unionhospital.org/emergencycenter or on Facebook and on Twitter (@Union_Hospital).