By SCOTT AUST, FCEDC Director of Communications
St. Catherine Hospital celebrated the official opening of its renovated Emergency Department on Wednesday, following a nearly year-long project.
Scott Taylor, hospital president and CEO, said the renovations will allow for expanded service at St. Catherine Hospital.
“We heard you, our patients and our partners, when you said we need a nicer, larger Emergency Department. So I want to thank you, our community, for donating over $600,000 toward the total $2.5 million it took to build this Emergency Department,” Taylor said during a ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday morning.
Taylor also thanked Centura Health for making the investment in the Emergency Department, as well as the hundreds of millions of dollars in investment over the last five years at St. Catherine Hospital to ensure the hospital is the “specialty critical care center for western Kansas.”
“Whether you’re coming here for stroke, or heart attack, or trauma, or for sepsis, you can know that the crew here at St. Catherine Hospital, and the facilities at St. Catherine Hospital, are the best in western Kansas,” Taylor said. “We are already the largest and busiest emergency department west of Wichita, and we are know one of the nicest, newest facilities.”
Tracy Henry, director of facilities, said that the project was initially only supposed to take six months. However, after it had started, Centura came in and provided an additional $1.5 million.
“We kind of had to take a pause in the middle of it and think about what we could do, meaningfully, with the additional money,” Henry said.
Taylor thanked Dora Leon, Emergency Department director and her team for their patience during the project, which took about a year to complete, saying it’s not easy to renovate an emergency department while taking care of patients at the same time, but they did it.
“They had great attitudes, and as a matter of fact, our patient satisfaction scores actually went up during the renovation,” he said.
Leon said the remodel allowed the eight bed emergency department to offer semi-private rooms with televisions, calming artwork, updated x-ray equipment, updated lighting and more.
“We’ve been getting about 18,000 visits per year, and it’s been going up about 3-4 percent each year,” Leon said. “We stay very busy. I’m very proud of the fact that we have all board-certified emergency room providers, and they are very talented so they can get you taken care of and get you to the right location.”
Henry added that the expansion includes an update to digital radiography, which will allow health care professionals to get images such as x-rays much more quickly with less of a dose of radiation to the patient. They also added a new isolation room that is under negative pressure, which helps protect other patients and staff.
The hospital offered tours of the department following the ribbon cutting ceremony.