The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

By Michelle Bigelbach
The Courier 

FMDH's Major Face-Lift Continues

 

February 20, 2019

Michelle Bigelbach / The Courier

This space, which formerly occupied the general surgery department and the orthopedic and Hi-Line Med Spa departments in the Medical Arts Building, will be the new trauma room in the emergency department. A massive overhaul of the building needs to be done in order to make the space state-of-the-art and up to healthcare standards.

Over the past few years, Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital and the various departments within the hospital have seen much needed upgrades and face-lifts in order to keep compliant with healthcare regulations and also provide patients with the best possible care. Patients of the hospital and the Glasgow Clinic have learned to adapt and have had to be more aware of their surroundings as many departments have moved locations and corridors have been closed off to allow for construction.

"We are doing everything we can to get the word out," said Project Manager Dirk Monson. "We sincerely apologize for any confusion. We are trying to keep the navigation as simple and straight forward as possible and will also be doing a comprehensive signage project to the new locations of certain departments once the construction is done."

Staring in late 2016, the planning stages of a massive remodel of the hospital started with construction and design development. Monson got on board in May of 2017, and in late 2017, construction began in the basement with building of offices to house information services, support services as well as build a state-of-the-art conference room. "They really thought of everything when designing the conference room," stated Monson. Guest speakers have the ability to plug in their technology and project their information on three different television screens. There is also a well stocked coffee kiosk for those utilizing the room as well as motion-censored lights.

The second phase of construction then began with physical therapy moving from their previous location to the southwest portion of the building. Updates were also done to the Patient Access Department, the Health Information Department and the Cardiac Pulmonary Rehab gym was also expanded and updated. The mail and telemedicine rooms were also moved and updated.

Since physical therapy was able to vacate their previous location, the space was opened up to build the Glasgow Clinic Speciality Care, which now houses OBGYN, the orthopedic department, Hi-Line Spa as well as general surgery. A new addition is also being built to accommodate this clinic, as it will house provider and director offices as well as provide much needed storage space. The addition is being expanded out from where the former patient discharge area was, near the Glasgow Clinic main entrance.

"We have been able to combine departments in order to have them all be part of rural care. They are now under the same roof in terms of regulations with the Glasgow Clinic. A big part of this project was to have a centralized waiting and reception areas for these departments," stated Monson. The other benefit of moving these departments under the same area, is they are across the hall from the lab department and just around the corner from the Glasgow Clinic. According to Monson, having all of these departments close to each other will make it easier for a patient to navigate to their destination when being referred to another provider.

Now that the Glasgow Clinic Speciality Care is open and available for patients, that leaves room for the construction to begin where general surgery and the orthopedic department formerly called home. As a result, the entrance to the Medical Arts Building on the backside of the building near the emergency room entrance is closed off to the public. When construction is completed, which is slated for late March, patients and providers will have access to a brand new expanded emergency department. Upgrades to the area include a bigger trauma room, three private treatment rooms, a procedure room, a brand new nurses station, a decontamination room, a triage room as well as storage and office space. "All of these upgrades allow us to provide a higher standard of care. We are truly putting in modern day standards for an emergency department," stated Monson.

"The Medical Arts Building was built in 1935. We had to demo the building to the concrete floor and pillars and start over when starting construction," continued Monson. "When they built this building back then there was no idea or even thought from those engineers the systems that would be installed in the building now in 2019. The wiring, the piping have all had to be updated. We also had to update the HVAC system."

Once the emergency department moves into their new home, space will be opened up to move the inpatient pharmacy. The current nurses station will also be moved and the new emergency department waiting room will be built. Once spring arrives, there will be site work around the new addition, the loading dock on the southwest part of the building and the southwest parking lot will be expanded. Work will also begin soon on the Glasgow Clinic, a remodel and update of the retail pharmacy once inpatient pharmacy moves into the current emergency department and a canopy will be installed at the main entrance of the Glasgow Clinic to allow for ease of dropping off and picking up patients. Other minor upgrades throughout the building will also occur.

All of the work that has been done to the facility since the project started in late 2017 seems like a lot, but when put into perspective, it's much needed. Funds utilized for the project have been saved throughout the years and this project had been planned well in advance of ground breaking. As of right now, no borrowed funds have been utilized for the project, which is something Monson is really proud of.

The last major remodel of the facility was in 1998 when the Glasgow Clinic entrance and Patient Discharge area was built. Since then only minor upgrades have been done on a necessary basis. "To my knowledge we have never done this massive renovation, especially to this magnitude," said Monson.

Once the project is complete, a comprehensive signage project will be put into place, ensuring everyone that walks into the building knows where they need to go. "We truly hope people understand our facility is still a small facility when compared to Billings and other out-of-town facilities. We are being aware of all that we can do to help people navigate and make it as simple and straight-forward as possible. We apologize for any confusion in the navigation process." stated Monson.

 

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