DWM work beginsPublished 8:24am Thursday, December 26, 2013
By Kerry Whipple Bean
An expansion at D.W. McMillan Hospital will put the facility on the “cutting edge” of care — and give the hospital a competitive edge in the healthcare market, hospital officials said.
“This project has been a dream for years,” said Ruth Harrell, chairman of the Escambia County Healthcare Authority. “This investment of $11 million is going to put our hospital on the cutting edge of emergency care.”
Hospital officials broke ground Thursday on the project, which will include an expansion and renovation of the emergency department and operating rooms. There will also be a new parking lot across Edgewood Drive for patients and hospital employees.
When the work is completed, there will be a 7,500 square foot emergency department with five exam rooms, two trauma rooms and a cardiac trauma room, said Chris Griffin, CEO of the hospital. There will also be a centralized registration desk, renovated outpatient area, new infusion/oncology suites, two new integrated, state-of-the-art operating rooms and a renovated radiology department.
The parking lot will have 100 spaces, and as part of the project, the intersection of Edgewood Drive and McMillan Avenue will be made safer.
Griffin said he feels as if he’s been working toward the renovation since he came to the hospital a decade ago.
“It’s been almost 20 years since we did any renovation at the hospital,” he said.
He thanked the healthcare authority, Brewton City Council and Escambia County Commission for their support of the project, as well as the physicians, hospital staff and the community. Trustmark Bank provided financing for the project.
“The way we survive,” Griffin said, “is to provide quality, professional care. We are in a competitive environment.”