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Roundup: Hospitals in Georgia, Maine, New York kick off construction season

A look at the latest facilities building and modernization projects just getting underway.

Jeff Lagasse, Associate Editor

Cartersville Medical Center in Georgia has recently been granted a certificate of need by the state for a $15 million expansion of its emergency room, which will grow from 30 to 43 beds when completed.

CEO Chris Mosley told The Daily Tribune News that the hospital handled 60,000 ER visits in 2017, and that the expansion will improve the patient experience by expanding bandwidth -- though even with flu season in the rearview mirror, capacity issues are likely to persist.

[Also: Mohawk Valley Health System moving forward to build new hospital in downtown Utica despite opposition]

The efforts are also likely to enable the hospital to redesign its operating rooms, especially the smaller ones, which will allow for more varied types of surgeries. One improvement that will have to be put on hold for the time being is a new neonatal intensive care unit, which has long been on the facility's wish list.

Educating residents about the scope of CMC's services was cited as a major cog in its overall long-term growth strategy.

At the Mohawk Valley Health System in New York has been approved for a certificate of need by the Public Health Planning Council, which brings the system one step closer to building a hospital in downtown Utica.

While projections for the hospital's cost have yet to emerge, the approval moves the proposal to the next stage, which is completion of the state environmental quality review and the acquisition of the necessary property. According to New Channel 2, the SEQR process began in February and is expected to be completed sometime in early autumn.

The city of Utica, along with Oneida County, will become the lead agencies on the eminent domain process, while the Urban Renewal Agency will enact eminent domain for properties under the city's jurisdiction.

On April 23, a five-year renovation project will begin at Memorial Hospital in Chester, Illinois.

The Herald Tribune reports that the project, which is expected to last through August, will include a spruced-up main entrance, with the emergency room entrance being used in its stead until the project is completed. The front lobby will also be renovated during that time.

The main entrance revamp represents the first step of a multiphase remodel plan aimed at improving patient flow and staff workflow, as well as safety and utilities upgrades. Renovation on the hospital's south wing is slated to begin in 2019, and will include new Med-Surg and intensive care units.

The ER will remain open 24/7 as the improvements begin to roll out.

Finally, Maine Medical Center in Portland has been granted approval by the Portland Planning Commission for a $512 million expansion project, according to the Bangor Daily News.

The five-year, three-phase plan includes adding two floors to a patient tower, adding three levels to the parking garage and adding 64 new rooms for cancer patients, in addition to 225 new parking spaces. The garage will likely be completed by the end of the year, with the patient tower following in 2019.

Future phases of the project include a new, 270,000 square-foot building that will house the new entrance. In addition, 19 new operating rooms and 128 new single-patient rooms will be built.

The Portland Press Herald reported that the project is the most expensive in the hospital's history, and was spurred in part by rural Mainers who are willing to travel to larger hospitals for care. Combined, rural hospitals in Maine ran a $50 million deficit in 2016; Maine Medical Center, by contrast, was $61 million in the black during that time.

Twitter: @JELagasse
Email the writer: jeff.lagasse@himssmedia.com

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