The automatic doors of the new patient tower of Mercy Memorial Health Center slid open Sunday, showing the interior of the $60 million facility to the public.


The automatic doors of the new patient tower of Mercy Memorial Health Center slid open Sunday, showing the interior of the $60 million facility to the public.

 

Several members of the community were on hand to tour the 158-bed building from 1 to 5 p.m. Shana Hammond, MMHC marketing and communications specialist, said community involvement was instrumental in the creation of the tower.

 

“We had to raise some of the money,” Hammond said. “We ended up raising $22 million, which is remarkable for a community this size.”

 

Hammond said although the tower has been under construction since January 2008, the idea and desire for it began during former CEO Bob Thompson’s time with the hospital.

 

“It’s been a long time coming,” she said. Mercy Memorial President Mindy Burdick said the hospital reflects the needs of the community it serves.

 

“The community asked for more private rooms, and we listen to what they asked for,” she said. Many of the hospital’s staff and administration were on hand for the open house.

 

“It’s a very exciting time for all of us,” she said. “We’ve waited through two years of construction to get to this point, so it’s important for us to be here today to share our hospital with the community.”

 

All 158 of the new tower’s rooms are private, including its 13 intensive care rooms. Among the tower’s features are a Women’s Center on the first floor.

 

The patient floors are designed with several smaller nursing stations, or pods, instead of a single nurses’ station. Combined with the EPIC electronic health records system that nurses can access via bedside computers, nurses will spend much more time with patients.

 

“It’s a whole new model,” Hammond said.

 

Burdick said the hospital will move patients into the tower on June 27. She said the staff will have a comprehensive strategy for the transfer of each patient.

 

The president said the new tower offers the same quality of service patients could receive at any hospital in Dallas or Oklahoma City, but with a local touch.

 

“What they wouldn’t get there that they get here is care by their neighbors,” Burdick said. “People they go to church with, their family members. This is a hometown hospital, you get care from people that you know.”

 

Phil Banker 221-6542