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New Fulton County Medical Center dedicated

November 02, 2007|By ASHLEY HARTMAN

MCCONNELLSBURG, PA.

After 18 months of construction and five years of fundraising, the ribbon across the front of Fulton County's new $37 million Medical Center was cut Friday and the main entrance sign was unveiled during a dedication ceremony.

The ceremony began in a pavilion beside the medical center, where hundreds of county residents and other supporters heard remarks from Pennsylvania legislators, members of the medical center's board of directors, employees of the medical center, volunteers and other special guests.

"It is quite a day. As I sit here, I think about all those people over the past 10 years who said this couldn't be done ? that this was too small of a place," said Jason F. Hawkins, president and CEO of Fulton County Medical Center. "This facility represents the conviction, heart and soul of Fulton County."

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The medical center, on a 22-acre plot on Peach Orchard Road donated by Andrew and Joyce Washabaugh, is fully funded through local donations, grants and a bond.

Helen Overly, who headed local fundraising efforts, announced that the fundraising committee has raised more than $7 million.

"Our first goal was $1.5 million five years ago," Overly said.

"We had over 2,000 donors locally," said Cheryl Brown, director of communication relations and development at the medical center.

Donations ranged from as much as $2.5 million to as little as $1.

Additionally, more than $5 million was received through federal, state and local grants, and a $26 million low-interest loan was issued through Fulton County, Brown said.

Many of the hospital employees agreed that one benefit of the new facility is the amount of space, which doubled from 49,000 square feet at the current site to 97,000 square feet at the new site.

"Everything is new, state-of-the-art ... we'll be able to have more people here at a time," said Stephanie White, director of occupational therapy at the medical center.

The rehabilitation portion of the medical center includes occupational, physical and speech therapy, and received new equipment, like balance systems, weight training systems, treadmills and bikes.

In the acute care center, which oversees patients in intensive care, critical care, medical surgical and the swing bed program, several registered nurses said space and technology has been improved.

"Computer systems have been upgraded and the patient rooms are bigger," registered nurse Cassie Scott said.

New heart monitors have been installed, registered nurse Hope Cook said.

Another benefit to the new medical center is for the long-term care patients.

"It's a lot better for our long-term care patients," Scott said. "They can go outside."

The long-term care center now has 67 beds, with the capacity for 30 more if necessary, said Misty Hershey, director of marketing and business development. Each room has its own window.

"I'm really excited for residents," Hershey said. "They have semi-private rooms ... they'll feel like they're in their own home."

One of the newest additions to the medical center is full-time cardiologist Dr. Michael T. Donahoe, Hershey said.

The new medical center also contains a helipad, so patients can be quickly transported to other facilities.

The Fulton County Medical Center will officially open Sunday, Nov. 18.

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