The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Life

November 16, 2010

Construction begins on Williamsport Medical Center expansion

WILLIAMSPORT — Where once stood a worn parking lot used by emergency vehicles, has now been transformed into a bustling construction site and the shell of a advanced medical complex that is part of a quarter of a billion dollar renovation and expansion at the Williamsport Regional Medical Center.

Last week, key hospital representatives held a media tour of the sleek brick and glass expansion project, which is the largest building project in the health system's history.

In roughly 18 months, the hospital will open the doors to the public while ushering in a new level of personal and professional care.

"When open in spring of 2012, the interior will feature an improved healing environment for patients with spacious private rooms using evidence based design features," said Rita Spangler, vice president of facility development.

"Improvements are under way that include a new emergency services department, new single occupancy rooms and an education and Innovation Center."

The addition and renovations are part of the hospital's Project 2012, an effort that will assist the hospital with overcoming challenges related to aging facilities and to accommodate new, cutting-edge technology.

The expansion and renovation also will help the hospitals to improve physician and nursing staff recruitment and retention, while enhancing the patient and family experience.

The project will create numerous "green environment" features, in a four story building that will house 52 single occupancy rooms, a larger, more efficient emergency department, a heart and vascular institute and expanded critical care services.

The Williamsport Regional Medical Center serves patients from an 11-county region, and has been recognized at the national and state levels for quality of care, including the Data Advantage Top 100 Hospitals in the Nation for Healthcare Value and the Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania's Blue Distinctions designation for cardiac care, spine surgery and hip and knee replacement.

When completed in spring of 2012, the new four-story structure will provide 140,000 square feet to be used when completed along with an additional 60,000 square feet of reserve space for future growth.

Occupying the space will be a 52 single-patient rooms on the top floor, a 24-bed post-surgery care unit for spine and orthopedic patients.

In addition to relocating or expanding several hospital departments, a new surgery room is being constructed on the third level, a greatly expanded emergency room and support services for that department is nearing completion along with educational space for the Family Medicine Residency Program and the Commonwealth Medical College.

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