CCH officially opens new emergency room

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 28, 2007

The lawn of the Crenshaw Community Hospital was covered with citizens, staff members, local dignitaries and elected officials as the long-awaited ribbon cutting ceremony was held Monday evening for the new emergency room.

Others who also joined in the celebration were the hospital board, local physicians and the corporate staff from InMed.

Crenshaw Community Hospital is managed by InMed Inc. of Montgomery.

&#8220We are truly proud of the new emergency room,” CCH Administrator Jim McKnight said. &#8220It is spacious, beautiful, functional, and it will allow us to better serve our community.”

The opening of the new ER serves as the completion of phase one of the hospital's expansion and renovation plans. McKnight said the total project is expected to be completed by Nov. 1 of this year.

The new emergency room, which was funded through USDA loans obtained by the Crenshaw County Healthcare Authority, is 10,440 square feet and includes two triage rooms, three treatment areas, four exam rooms, an isolation room, a decontamination shower area (located on the outside), and a spacious reception lobby.

Contracting was completed by W.K. Upchurch and Central Contracting of Montgomery. The total cost of the project is estimated at over $7 million.

With the old emergency room covering less than 1,000 square feet, the new ER will be able to provide many more efficient ways of serving the citizens of the county, and surrounding counties as well.

&#8220This is a wonderful new facility, and we have worked diligently and tirelessly for the past four years to get it to this point,” Prissy Johnson, Chairman of the Crenshaw County Healthcare Authority, said. &#8220This has been a long time coming, and we're glad it's here.”

”This facility will be able to provide first-class, excellent medical care,” she added. &#8220It's a new facility, and it's full of new equipment.”

The completion of the new ER is only part of phase one for the hospital, however. The new kitchen and cafeteria areas are expected to be open by Aug. 23.

In the second phase of construction, the hospital's existing emergency room and the old operating room will be renovated to include two new operating rooms, a three-bed recovery area, a scope room, in addition to staff offices and lockers. McKnight said the new operating rooms would allow the hospital the ability to expand its scope of surgical procedures to include orthopedic services. The estimated completion date of phase two is Sept. 30.

&#8220The completion of the emergency room is a big step, but we have a lot of work to do in the next three months,” McKnight said.

&#8220I hope our community will be patient with us as we have to relocate other services. One of the main changes will include the fact that the new emergency room entrance will become the front door of the hospital in about two weeks. All patient services will have to be accessed through this entrance only.”

After Monday evening's ribbon-cutting ceremony, everyone was invited to tour the new emergency room and to enjoy many finger foods, delicacies and punch.