Exceptional Care. Always.
You may have noticed some subtle changes around our hospital campus recently. Maybe you noticed that the city of Dumas was onsite a while back doing some digging. Maybe you noticed that Dr. Bunch relocated his office from the building on Meredith right across from the hospital to a new location down the street on Beard. Maybe you noticed that a house behind Dr. Bunch’s old office has disappeared and that another house next to it is being prepared for demolition. If you haven’t noticed any of these subtle things recently, pretty soon you won’t be able not to notice some major changes that will be happening very soon.
We are gearing up for a major expansion and renovation that has been in the works for many years now. After identifying multiple issues with the current building including outdated patient flow, non-ADA compliant bathrooms, failing plumbing and electricity systems, lack of space for new patient services and staff, and many more other problems hindering patient care, the District Board and Administration began discussions on the best way to continue the hospital’s viability for the future of Moore County residents.
After taking the first step by asking the Moore County community if it wanted to help pay for a new hospital via bond election, and determining that the community was unable to add to its tax burden at that time, the Board and Administration began seeking other avenues of funding a project independently and looked at how to correct issues at the current site.
Since disturbing patient care during renovation is a high concern, a plan was developed to expand patient care areas into an addition that would straddle a portion of 2nd street between Bliss and Meredith. This way, construction could proceed and Moore County residents who were receiving patient care during construction would not be inconvenienced. This also allowed for a complete renovation of the existing building afterwards. This way, we could address failing systems, non-compliant areas would no longer be used for patient rooms or would be renovated for different purposes, and there would now be needed space for additional health services that currently could not be accommodated even though they may be needed in the community.
In regards to paying for the project, our first priority was to make certain that Moore County residents would not have any additional taxes, so our Board and Administration began looking at avenues of alternate funding, which lead to the discovery of a extremely low interest loan (only a 2.8% fixed rate) by the USDA. Our financial advisor also helped to identify that, since the way we provide care had drastically changed in the 60+ years since Memorial Hospital was built back in the '40s, that we could change our payment status and the only thing it would affect would be the rate we receive financial reimbursements from the government. This would help to offset the debt that taking on an outside loan would create.
After the plan finally fell into place, we proceeded with applying for the USDA loan. The process of securing the loan took well over a year, but in June of 2016, the loan was approved. Since then, architects have visited with the Board, Administration, local Physicians, hospital leaders and staff, and even hospital volunteers to hash out the final blueprints for the project. Every department that the project touches has had a say in how best to accommodate the layout for patient care, privacy, and security. Physicians have brought valuable suggestions to the table on what the hospital needs for specific medical situations. Hospital volunteers had a say in what they needed to continue hospitality for patient families and to manage their gift shop.
After much input and many revisions, the plans are finally at the completion stage and we can share our vision with the community. Patients will have access to what they need most in a consolidated area and will no longer have to travel the expanse of the entire hospital to receive services. Admissions are in one location which will be accessed from a circular covered drop off and registration will take place in contained and private offices. Outpatient services will have another drop off entrance for patient convenience and will be close to the waiting area for their families. The inpatient and labor and delivery ward will be on the second floor for privacy and security. There will no longer be patients in beds being wheeled down public hallways. Patient rooms will no longer be off the main hallway, so noise levels will be at a minimum at all times, allowing for peaceful patient recovery. Patient rooms will be ADA compliant and there will no longer be an issue with caregivers assisting patients in bathrooms. The Emergency room will consist of a trauma area and an urgent care area so that a patient with a broken bone can be seen at the same time as a victim of a car accident. Even small details such as public restrooms in convenient locations have been addressed.
If all continues as scheduled, the blueprints will go out for bids in the next few months and you will begin seeing the first signs of change this spring or early summer. Old buildings that are District owned will be pushed over, dirt will be moved, and construction will begin. The entire construction piece is estimated to take approximately 2 years, so, by 2019 our community will have a hospital campus that will carry us comfortably into the next 60 years of healthcare.
Copyright 2017, Moore County Hospital District