Wednesday, April 2, 2014
If you’ve driven along Black River Road lately, chances are you’ve noticed big changes taking place at Georgetown Memorial Hospital. The buzz of activity is unmistakable with earth movers, cranes and construction crews dotting the grounds.
What you’re seeing is the first phase of a replacement and updating project at the hospital that will significantly improve our facility structurally and cosmetically. Soon, our three-story building will feature an updated façade on Black River Road, a new public entrance on Memorial Lane, improved and expanded parking and new roofing, windows, wiring and heating and cooling units.
And that’s just the exterior. Inside, a brighter, expanded lobby and dining area and refreshed patient care areas and updated technology will round out the first phase of a $34 million project approved by the Georgetown Hospital System board of trustees in 2012.
That’s quite a transformation, and one of several renovations, that our community’s nearly 64-year-old landmark hospital has undergone since we opened our doors to the community in May 1950.
Needless to say, all of us at Georgetown Hospital System are eagerly anticipating these improvements. After all, a fresh, bright environment makes us all stand taller and walk proudly. But most of all, we’re thrilled about what these changes mean for our patients, their families and visitors to our hospital.
Easier access to services, a design that enhances patient care and expanded space to more comfortably accommodate family members are priorities in the new design.
The first of these improvements is already visible with the newly reopened 2 East, a medical floor that includes 23 patient rooms. Each room has been completely redesigned, melding 21st-century technology with a design that emphasizes patient comfort, care and safety. Rooms have been expanded and feature new, larger windows that allow lots of natural light. Bathrooms are equipped with walk-in showers big enough to accommodate a wheelchair. Room amenities include wireless Internet access and a solid-surface counter that extends along one wall to hold personal items and hospital equipment. In addition, a sink is strategically placed next to the door to allow staff and visitors to wash their hands immediately upon entering and just before leaving a patient’s room.
And family members and visitors will be delighted to learn that each room is furnished with a couch with a table that converts into a bed to accommodate an adult.
Now that we’ve completed 2 East, we’re looking ahead to summer, when our updated front entrance on Black River Road is set to open. This will serve as the entry point into an expanded mall area and dining hall until our new entrance from Memorial Lane is completed. Visitors will notice a donor wall recognizing individuals and organizations for their philanthropy and a caregiver recognition wall that highlights staff members’ accomplishments.
Certainly, all these ongoing improvements at Georgetown Memorial are a significant construction project. But the improvements we’re making are much more than brick and mortar. This work represents our continuing investment in the community we’ve proudly served for more than 60 years.
As I look back over Georgetown Memorial’s history, I can’t help but see how intricately our hospital and the Georgetown community are linked. It was the people of Georgetown, with their can-do spirit and their determination to realize their dream of a hospital for their community, who built Georgetown Memorial Hospital. For more than six decades, we have built on that dream.
All of us at Georgetown Hospital System, from our physicians and employees to our volunteer board of trustees, are committed to honoring our hospital’s proud heritage and ensuring we continue to deliver the very best care to the people of Georgetown County and the surrounding region.
Ann Waters, RN, MS, MSN, is vice president of operations and administrator of Georgetown Memorial Hospital.