For the Troy Daily News
TROY — Upper Valley Medical Center (UVMC) on Wednesday, Dec. 14, unveiled an emergency department expansion designed to serve a growing number of patients in a setting emphasizing patient safety and comfort.
The expansion to the 18-year-old emergency department (ED) more than doubles the available space from 16,800 square feet to more than 43,000 square feet. The expansion project will be followed by renovation of the existing emergency department.
The UVMC ED is on the track to see more than 50,000 people this year, a 12 percent increase over 2015, said Mary Boosalis, president of Premier Health.
“The growing need for these services could easily overwhelm a community hospital if it didn’t expand its capacity to care for those patients. I’m proud that Premier Health and Upper Valley Medical Center are partnering to address this demand,” Boosalis said. “The expanded emergency room is really a tangible sign of our vision and our mission and that is to build healthier communities.”
“We’re extremely excited about all this expansion will provide,” said Becky Rice, UVMC president. “In addition to increasing the overall ED space and treatment room size to accommodate today’s patients and caregiver needs, the project is designed to enhance efficient flow and delivery of care for our patients and their loved ones.”
Diane Pleiman, UVMC vice president of operations, who coordinated the project administratively, said the additional area represents new patient care spaces – treatment rooms, trauma rooms and support space for physicians’ staff and patients. The rooms are larger and each has designated family and patient care areas.
“All of the rooms are laid out identically, which is extremely important for patient safety, Pleiman said. “As a caregiver, when I walk in a room, I don’t have to look for equipment because it is in the same location in every room. That is crucial when seconds count.”
Anita Moore, chair of the Premier Health Board of Trustees, thanked the UVMC staff for helping to make the project a reality. “I know that patient safety and comfort were top of mind in the design and planning of space, and it gave us a chance to add technology to the emergency department. All of this was done with the best interests of the patient at heart,” Moore said.
David Cohen, M.D., UVMC ED medical director, said, “I am really excited about the possibilities that the larger space means for our caregivers and, ultimately, what this will mean for our patients.”
Rowan Nichol, M.D., chair of the UVMC Board of Directors, thanked the ED staff and the Premier and UVMC administration. He noted that the renovated ED will include CT and other imaging capabilities in the ED itself. “We thank all of you for the dedication that has led to the successful completion of this project,” he said.