Another milestone was passed today (July 11) with a ribbon cutting and dedication of the new Patient Entrance and Reception Lobby of the Union Hospital Lauren Emergency Center. With many hospital employees, local officials, and even some patients looking on, the Tuscarawas County Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors helped to cut the ribbon and the hospital took the wraps off the second major phase of the $17.7-million construction project.
“Three months ago we opened the patient care area of the new Emergency Center and today we are proud to show you the wonderful new patient reception area,” said Bruce James, president and CEO. “If you’ve been to our ER before, today you’ll certainly see the vast improvement we’ve made for the comfort and convenience of our emergency patients and families.”
Carey Gardner, director of community relations, said today’s events took place just hours before the hospital will make the shift from the temporary ER entrance it’s been using since March for the large new canopy and patient reception area.
“In the early morning hours tomorrow (July 12) the new ER entrance will open and we close the temporary entrance we’ve been using for the past several months,” Gardner said. “All ER patients arriving by private vehicle should come to the new entrance starting July 12 (Tuesday). It’s in the exact same location patients have used for many years, but now with many obvious improvements.”
Among those improvements Gardner said is a large outdoor canopy to provide cover for several cars at a time to shelter patients and drivers as they arrive and depart. The new Reception Lobby has been completely renovated and made more comfortable and the registration and triage areas are much larger and offer greater patient privacy. An expanded ER parking lot is located right next to the entrance canopy.
Gardner said patients arriving by ambulance will continue to be taken to the back of the new ER facility at the ground level.
Patient care in the new Emergency Center began on March 17 when hospital staff moved out of the Emergency Department facilities where it had been for 20 years. That move enabled contractors to complete Phase Two of the project, which includes the new entrance canopy, reception and registration area, triage rooms and renovation of some of the existing ER facilities.
Groundbreaking for the Emergency Center project was held at a ceremony in August 2014. A temporary parking lot was built that fall and construction of the large addition to the hospital began in the early spring of 2015. Gardner said the entire project has been completed on schedule and within the budget of $17.7 million for construction and equipment.
A capital campaign has raised $3.1 million in donations from individuals, companies and foundations. A $1-million donation from Lauren International of New Philadelphia is recognized with the name of the new facility on the exterior wall, “The Union Hospital Lauren Emergency Center.”
A complete video, photographic and written history documenting the construction project can be found at the Union Hospital website: www.unionhospital.org, and on the Union Hospital Lauren Emergency Center Facebook page.