New buildings, spacious, sunlit patient rooms and modern technology greeted dozens of visitors to the grand opening of the expanded Southwest Memorial Hospital campus on Monday.
Anchoring the south side of campus, the $32 million project features a two-story medical office building that puts 18 medical providers under one roof and includes a retail pharmacy. On the north side, a modern 13-bed inpatient wing was built along with a new front entrance and lobby and new EMS station.
The 25,000-square-foot medical office building improves patient care and access to doctors, and provides improved facilities and workspace for staff, said tour guide Lindsay Yeager.
“It is a one-stop shop for medical services. Patients can see their physician, have lab work done and fill their prescriptions all in the same vicinity,” she said. “It was designed with enough room to add specialists.”
Rows of exam rooms will mean less time in the waiting room. The layout also accommodates staff needs, including a row of private cubicles with views of Mesa Verde, conference rooms, a shower for those who bicycle to work, and ample work space and storage.
The new 26,000-square-foot inpatient wing has larger rooms with bathrooms, more advanced intensive care units, updated patient monitors and beds, and a modern nurse call system, said tour guide Chuck Dennis.
For infectious patients, some rooms have negative-pressure technology and specialized venting to prevent diseases from spreading into the hospital.
The new layout also separates patients and critical medical services from public traffic areas, Dennis said.
“The patients, imaging and nurse stations are all in the same area, with improved access to surgery,” he said. Patients will be moving in on June 20.
The new patient wing also includes an updated family birthing center. The large, sunny rooms include tubs for mothers, scales, infant-washing sinks and baby warmers, plus a nursery is nearby. Security features are extensive. Each baby wears an electronic band, and alarms go off if it is removed or falls off. Access to the center is tightly controlled.
What will become of the hospital’s second floor where the previous patient rooms were is still being decided, hospital officials said.
The hospital upgrade was completed on time and under budget, said project manager Rick Fleming of Nunn Construction. The final piece is completion of the new main entrance and lobby, expected to be done in August.
“It was a team effort and a real source of pride for the community,” he said. “The technology and natural light throughout the buildings are standout features.”
Of the 45 subcontractors, 65 percent were from the region, including several from Cortez.
“It’s beautiful and a real testament to the people of Cortez who supported the project,” said tour participant Suzanne Butterfield.
Steve Fusco, of the Southwest Health System board, said the goal of more modern facilities and medical services is to attract patients and keep and recruit staff.
“It is so important in the health industry to stay competitive with state-of-the art facilities,” he said. “The community supporting the project with a sales tax shows their long term commitment to health care.”