United Regional Upgrades Update

The emergency room at United Regional will have a new entrance starting Monday.  Hospital officials said it will only be temporary while they are in phase 2 of the expansion project.

"We're about to start phase two and that's the actual construction of the new expansion of the building," Rick Carpenter, Vice President of Finances at United Regional said.

The project started in November 2014.  First, they built a new parking lot for employees and then they built another parking lot near the new expansion.  This added to public parking.  However, they will lose spots because of where the expansion is going to be.

It will go on the west side of campus, right where the current emergency department entrance is.  This is why they had to build a temporary entrance.  The new entrance will be on the south side along 11th Street.  Monday will be the first day the new entrance will be used.

"Patients and family are going to have a much more efficient emergency department," he said.

Part of this is because when every is completed, the emergency wing will be twice as big as it is now. 

Carpenter said, "All of the rooms will be universal rooms so they will be safer."

It will have two trauma rooms, 43 universal treatment rooms, eight patient evaluation rooms, six rapid treatment rooms and two consultation rooms.  The rooms will also be bigger so it is more comfortable for everyone.  Another bonus is that your room will be yours.  You won't have to worry about sharing a room with another patient.

The ambulance bays will also be expanded and there will be a new walkway from the emergency department entrance to the Bethania Building.

Staff members will also benefit from the expansion.

"Staff members will have a better environment to work in.  Certainly they'll be able to keep a better eye on their patients," he said.

The total cost will be around $28-million.  The majority of it will be paid for by hospital savings, but they are also trying to raise money.  Their goal is to raise $8-million through donations and so far they have raised $5-million.

Officials said phase two should be completed by January 2016.  They they will move everything to the expansion, so they can renovate the existing facility.  Their goal is to have the whole project done by the end of 2016. 

, Newschannel 6