SRH deflates tents, plans for new hospital - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

SRH deflates tents, plans for new hospital

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May 3, 2007

Americus-  Sumter Regional Hospital's urgent care facility has a new home, with walls, and for the first time hospital directors say they'll scrap the old hospital and build a new one. It's been two months since the hospital took a direct hit from a powerful tornado that devastated the Americus health care community. Since then, Sumter Regional has operated out of a makeshift tent city, but they're camping no more.

Sumter Regional Hospital's makeshift tent city has been deflated. Next door they're in a more stable structure, with two trauma rooms, better suited for patients needs.

"The ER doctor is here at all times, we've got our lab and xray and CAT Scan and outpatient services so we're continuing to improve," said Marta Augood, RN.

The lab still needs a new blood bank refrigerator, but most of the equipment was salvaged and cleaned and is in use in the new urgent care.

"We're getting right back up to our old numbers seeing patients and everybody is feeling more secure coming into this facility," said Augood.

"Getting out of the tents they served us pretty well, but we were ready for the next step in our recovery," said David Seagraves, SRH President and CEO.

The next step, building an intermediate hospital on the Healthplex site, and today Hospital President David Seagraves said the board is reviewing plans for a new hospital.

"Our expectations are and our plans are already in motion to plan for a new replacement facility here in Americus on this site," said Seagraves.

Those plans could help Sumter Regional better identify patient needs.

"Healthcare has changed dramatically since the hospital was build originally in 1953 and with the additions in '75 and '99 and in order for us to bring the evidence based medicine principals of design into a building we really believe we need to go into a new building," said Seagraves.

The hope is that building can be constructed a little farther up the hill closer to where the Healthplex once stood, with fewer beds and more services.

The Sumter Regional Hospital Board is expected to meet next week with their insurance company and will continue to push them for an all-new facility.

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