Completion of a $30 million expansion and renovation project at East Texas Medical Center Henderson, including a new emergency department, grand lobby and clinic space, was celebrated with a community ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony today by the East Texas Medical Center Regional Healthcare System and the Henderson community.
"This day provides a tremendous opportunity for the people of Henderson and Rusk County to see the impact of ETMC's mission of care," noted Elmer G. Ellis, president/CEO of the ETMC system. "Since the affiliation of Henderson Memorial Hospital into the ETMC system in 2009, we have worked with the local board and community to design a new healthcare campus that is second to none for a city of this size."
The construction project included the creation of a new main entrance for the hospital, which faces High Street, and a grand lobby, which houses admissions and registration, as well as a larger general hospital waiting area. A new larger, separate emergency department waiting area with 24-hour, walk-in access also is featured. A covered drive provides protection from the elements for guests being dropped off or picked up.
"We wanted to make accessing hospital services as easy as possible for our guests," said Mark Leitner, administrator of ETMC Henderson. "Now everyone - emergency patients, clinic patients, those utilizing outpatient services or visitors-enters through one door."
Architects were careful to design the new structure in such a way as to be compatible with the existing facility, creating a fully integrated healthcare campus at ETMC Henderson.
The new main lobby features an open, glass, two-story design. The new emergency department waiting area is separated from the main lobby by a cascading wall of water, which is just one way natural elements, such as light, plants, wood and stone are incorporated in the design to foster healing.
New emergency department
The ETMC Henderson emergency department has grown from eight to 12 exam rooms, including two major treatment rooms. Five existing exam rooms were renovated, while an additional seven were constructed. All rooms are equipped with the latest technology and include some glass walls that allow emergency department staff to more easily monitor patients.
While walk-in patients enter the emergency department through the new main entrance, a new docking area allows patients transported by ambulance to enter the emergency department treatment area directly, without having to be moved through the waiting area.
"We know the emergency department is where most patients first access hospital services," said Leitner, "so it's fitting that our patients now enter the emergency department through the main entrance. This lessens confusion and minimizes the time it takes to receive treatment."
Renovated and expanded clinic
The ETMC First Physicians women's and family health clinics have been expanded and renovated as part of the project.
The new clinic features two waiting areas-one for the women's clinic, the other for the family health clinic-which are separated by a central check-in station.
There are new exam rooms and office space to support eight providers. The women's health clinic is home to OB/GYN physicians Dr. Jayshree Patel and Linda Mughrabi and Marianne Nichols, RN, WHNP. Dr. Lynne Haygood-Kane, OB/GYN, will be joining the clinic later this summer. The family health clinic houses family medicine physicians Dr. Brenda Frisbie and Dr. Gordon Uretsky and internal medicine specialist Dr. Raghavendra Makam. Dr. Kwabena Agyapong Osman, pediatrician, recently joined the ETMC First Physicians family health clinic, as well. Podiatrist Dr. Thomas McCloskey also sees patients in the clinic on a regular basis.
"The location of the clinic not only provides convenient access to our providers for their patients, but also makes it convenient for our providers to access their patients when they are receiving inpatient care," Leitner said.
As part of this project, ETMC invested in upgraded diagnostic equipment. Digital mammography equipment was installed at ETMC Henderson in January 2011.
Digital mammography provides sharper images in less time than traditional mammography methods. The digital technology also allows the radiologist to view and manipulate images on high-resolution computer monitors, enhancing clarity and reducing the likelihood of patients having to return for additional images.
In addition to the new technology, the waiting and changing areas at the ETMC Breast Center at ETMC Henderson were updated with new furnishings, flooring and wall coverings, and a private dressing area dedicated to mammography patients was created.
Last October, ETMC Henderson became one of the first hospitals in the nation to install one of the newest and highest-resolution magnetic resonance imaging scanners available: the Ingenia 1.5T system from Philips Healthcare.
Most MRI systems utilize analog components for signal acquisition and processing to generate patient images. The Ingenia 1.5T system introduces, for the first time in MRI, digital signal acquisition and processing, which provides a sharper, clearer image. Because of the level of detail it provides, the system can assist physicians in the earlier diagnosis of a variety of medical conditions.
The system also offers a simplified pre-exam set up and a larger bore, or hole, which allows for a larger variety of scanning procedures on a variety of patients.
The story of ETMC Henderson began in 2009, as Henderson Memorial Hospital and ETMC signed an affiliation agreement.
"The board of directors worked intensively toward securing a bright future for Rusk County," explained Ron Franks of the HMH board at the affiliation signing ceremony in 2009. "After meeting with several organizations and reviewing multiple potential opportunities for our hospital, we ultimately reached the unanimous decision that the best partner for Henderson Memorial Hospital - and the best choice for our community is ETMC."
As a system, ETMC employs a different philosophy than most large healthcare systems when it comes to the relationship with their community hospital affiliates, said President/CEO Elmer G. Ellis. "Whereas most seek to send patients to the larger, flagship facility, our mission is to provide the highest level of care possible in home communities, which is better for patients and their families."
"The 'new' ETMC Henderson is a true reflection of the commitment ETMC has to the residents of Henderson and Rusk County," Leitner added. "The investment in facilities, equipment and personnel is advancing the level of healthcare services provided within this community, which is the driving mission behind the ETMC system. This is just the beginning, as we plan to continuously make improvements to our facilities and equipment, and add physicians, in order to provide the best care possible."