W.Va. hospital seeks $4.6 million for ER

July 20, 2007|by DAVE MCMILLION

RANSON, W.Va. - The organization that runs Jefferson Memorial Hospital announced Thursday it has requested state approval for a $4.6 million renovation of its emergency department.

The hospital's emergency room treats about 22,000 people per year, and the current facility is not designed for that volume, according to a press release from Tina Coad, manager of Jefferson Memorial Hospital's emergency department.

The proposed renovation includes expanding the emergency room from eight to 19 beds, creating additional parking, renovating existing waiting rooms and adding a decontamination room, according to the release.

The proposal also includes a unit next to the emergency room to be used as a "fast-track" area to treat emergency-room patients with less serious conditions.


That unit will have four treatment areas, hospital officials said.

West Virginia University Hospitals-East, the organization that operates Jefferson Memorial Hospital and City Hospital in Martinsburg, W.Va., has filed a certificate of need application with the West Virginia Health Care Authority to proceed with the project. A decision on the application is expected in August, hospital officials said.

If approved, construction could begin as early as September, and it is anticipated that the project will be completed by mid-2008, Coad said.

The hospital is proceeding with the project even though West Virginia University Hospitals-East officials have said they plan to build a new Jefferson Memorial Hospital on 30 acres along U.S. 340, which the developers of the Huntfield community donated for the hospital, said Teresa McCabe, spokeswoman for West Virginia University Hospitals-East.

McCabe said there is an immediate need for a bigger emergency room, and she added that plans for the proposed new hospital have not been finalized.

"That's seven to 10 years off," McCabe said Thursday of the new hospital.

McCabe said West Virginia University Hospitals-East officials will continue to use the current hospital at 300 S. Preston St. in Ranson after the new hospital is built.

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