Evangelical hospital celebrates $72 million addition, single rooms

LEWISBURG — Hospital staff and executives gathered recently to announce a $72 million new addition entitled PRIME (Patient Room Improvement, Modernization and Enhancement Project) during a press conference at Evangelical Community Hospital.

The 112,000-square-foot, four-story addition will not change the number of beds available in the hospital but will make all patient rooms single occupancy with their own private bathrooms. The project will also renovate 20,000-square-feet of existing space within the hospital. The hospital is licensed for 132 beds.

Groundbreaking on the project is set to take place in the summer of 2018, the new addition will be finished and fully operational by June of 2021.

The decision to move forward with the PRIME project was unanimously supported by the hospital’s board of directors. According to Brooks Gronlund, vice chairman, along with a public fundraising campaign that will be launched in the near future, hospital employees already have committed money to an internal campaign.

The four-story addition will be on the front of the hospital, which looks out onto Route 15.

There may be a few positions added to the staff, according to President and CEO Kendra Aucker, but it will not be anything of significance.

“This is really meant to better take care of our existing population with the existing staff,” Aucker said. “We are going to give our staff and providers more breathing room to take care of our patients.”

Also included in the project, will be a new Step Down Unit, a renovated intensive care unit, a general medicine and surgical unit, an orthopaedic unit and rehabilitation gym, and a lobby, cafe, gift shop, guest services, conference center, medical infusion and pre-admission testing area.

Hospital Medical Director Zeshan Anwar said the most impactfull thing that comes with the PRIME project is the private rooms. Single patient rooms enhance infection control by reducing the number of contagions to which a

patient is exposed. The single rooms also give a patient space that is quieter and personal where patients can spend time with their loved ones and families in difficult times. Also patients can rest and sleep better, which is an integral part of the healing process.

The nursing and critical care staff coordinator agrees with the benefits of private patient rooms. “The patients and families are going to have the space to be in the room to visit and just heal in a more comfortable area.”

President and CEO Kendra Aucker said she echoed the sentiments of the entire hospital staff, “This is a most exciting day for us at Evangelical.”