A look at exterior construction at TCMH. 

Texas County Memorial Hospital will take ownership of the first floor of the new 59,000 square foot expansion at the county facility on May 7, hospital board members heard last week at their monthly meeting.

TCMH will use the first week of first floor ownership to move furniture into place, train staff, update policies and procedures. A public grand opening for the new construction is planned for Thursday, May 16.

A relocation team at TCMH that has been planning the move into the new construction will relocate the radiology department, the emergency department and the registration department beginning in the wee hours of the morning on Monday, May 20.

“We will plan for seamless transition from the old ER to the new ER,” said Wes Murray, chief executive officer at TCMH. “The ER staff will see patients in the new and the old ERs until all patients can be transitioned to the new ER.”

Murray also reported that TCMH will take ownership June 14 of the second floor of the expansion construction. A relocation plan is in the works for moving the medical surgical department to the second floor, too.

Related renovation will begin inside the hospital in May. As hospital departments move, contractors will begin to transform the vacated spaces into new spaces for many other departments located inside TCMH. Departments such as cardiopulmonary, laboratory, dietary, cardiac rehabilitation and physical therapy will gain additional storage and patient care space as their departments expand into vacated areas.

Specific plans for the public grand opening are in progress. In addition to a dedication ceremony, TCMH plans to have a ribbon cutting and reception with tours of the new construction area before they are in use for patient care.

“The barbecue to thank our subcontractors was a big success,” Murray told board members.

Murray explained that about 50 subcontractors and 175 employees were in attendance at the event.

“The new ambulance garage was filled with employees that joined JE Dunn and Dr. Kerr in thanking them for the important work they are doing to advance the future of healthcare in our community,” Murray said.

Contractors are working in the space between the current hospital and the new construction, tying the two together. Work on the new helipad will also begin soon. The new helipad will be located between the new construction and South Sam Houston Blvd. beside the east side of the new construction.

“Patients can be transported to the helipad through doors connected to the new ER, just a short walk outside the ER,” Murray said.

TCMH is also focusing customer service efforts on the patient experience as the new construction and renovation are added.

“We know there will be some confusion on behalf of patients, their family members and our staff as we move into new spaces,” Murray said. “But maintaining good communication and excellent customer service is extremely important for anyone that comes into contact with TCMH and our staff members.”

TCMH is awaiting the state Medicaid director’s approval on a contract that will allow the hospital to receive reimbursement from Medicaid for non-emergency transportation provided by the TCMH Medivan to patients that are covered by Medicaid.

“This will be a benefit to area patients as well as to TCMH,” Murray said.

Linda Pamperien, chief financial officer at TCMH, presented the financial report for February. Inpatient and outpatient revenues were down.

“In addition to February being a short month, we also had several physicians that took time off during the month,” Pamperien said.

TCMH ended February with a negative bottom line of $197,495 and a negative year-to-date balance of $168,039.

Pamperien explained that BKD, LLC, a Springfield-based accounting firm, completed the field portion of the hospital’s annual audit in March. Representatives from BKD will present the audit report at the April board of trustees meeting.

Present at the meeting were Murray; Pamperien; Doretta Todd-Willis, chief nursing officer; April Steele, administrative secretary; Micki Cummins, medical records director; Dr. John Duff, Cox Health representative; Dr. Schaun Flaim, chief of staff; Dr. Charles Mueller; and board members Omanez Fockler, Janet Wiseman, Jim Perry, OD, and Mark Hampton. Board member Mark Forbes was absent.

The next meeting is noon Tuesday, April 23, in the hospital’s downstairs meeting room.

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