Hundreds of local residents glimpsed the future of Emergency Care in Tuscarawas County Sunday afternoon at the community open house for the Union Hospital Lauren Emergency Center. The new addition to the hospital in Dover saw a steady stream of visitors during the two-hour event. Carey Gardner, UH Director of Community Relations, said the comments he heard were uniformly positive.
“Many people commented on the large size of the Emergency Center and its bright, modern look,” Gardner said. “It was also gratifying to hear people express their appreciation for the planning and thoughtful design that went into the building and patient rooms.”
Gardner said UH employees volunteered to help with the Open House by greeting visitors at the doors, running the elevators to the patient care floor, and explaining the special treatment rooms and new features of the Emergency Center. He estimated the open house attendance at 750 people.
“People came from all over the region, even from surrounding counties, to see our new Emergency Center,” Gardner said.
EMS staff from the Dover and New Philadelphia Fire Departments and Smith Ambulance brought their vehicles for visitors to see and the MedFlight helicopter landed at the new helipad and welcomed visitors throughout the open house hours.
Gardner said hospital staff members now are focused on preparing the new Emergency Center for its first patients on March 17. Early that morning the decision will be made to begin admitting Emergency patients to the new center. Over the next 12 to 24 hours, patients in the existing Emergency Department will be cared for and discharged. By the end of the day, all patients will be in the new facility and the move will be complete.
Not complete, however, is the Emergency Center project itself. Gardner said Phase 2 of the project is the renovation of the existing patient entrance and reception area and construction of a new patient entrance canopy. That will take about four months to finish and puts the end of construction at mid-summer.
“During the four months that the new patient entrance is under construction all Emergency patients will park and enter at the back of the lower level of the new center,” Gardner said. “There will be many signs on the roads into the hospital campus from the Boulevard directing cars to the reserved parking area outside the doors where all patients will enter and leave the Emergency Center.”
Gardner says there will be valet parking offered at the Emergency entrance every day from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. and additional staff will be inside to help direct patients to the registration and triage room just inside the entrance and to transport patients up the elevator to the patient care floor above.
“It’s going to be a little crowded for the few months we’re using this temporary entrance,” Gardner said, “but soon we’ll have the new Emergency entrance open where it’s always been and patients will appreciate the canopy cover and nearby parking it offers.”
More detailed information and a map showing the temporary Emergency patient parking lot and entrance is available at the web site for the Union Hospital Lauren Emergency Center project: http://www.unionhospital.org/emergencycenter