DWM build set: Hospital will get new ER

Published 2:00 am Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Leaders make the plan for expansion at D.W. McMillan Hospital official with Tuesday announcement.

A bigger and improved emergency room at D.W. McMillan Memorial hospital will be the “centerpiece” of a $7.5 million renovation with work to begin early next year.

Chris Griffin, administrator for D.W. McMillan, said the project planned will help provide more space and more capabilities for the medical facility to continue to improve services for Brewton area residents.

“We see about 14,000 patients per year in our ER,” Griffin said. “To expand the entire ER area will help us meet the needs of patients better. The renovation of the ER will be the centerpiece of what we’re going to do at the hospital since as much as 80 percent of our patient admissions come through there.”

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The Escambia County Healthcare Authority announced Tuesday that the $7.5 million project will get underway in 2013 and will include the expansion and renovation of the current facility to include a new emergency room and two new surgical suites, officials said.

Bernie Wall Jr., treasurer of the Healthcare Authority said that the new emergency room and waiting area, surgical suites and other renovations are hopefully just the beginning of many needed hospital improvements.

“We are excited to be able to make this announcement, and I’m certain the community will be pleased with the direction D.W. McMillan Hospital is headed.” Wall said. “We are optimistic the expansion and improvements will be perceived as D.W. McMillan’s commitment to providing quality healthcare services for the citizens of our county and our community.”

Griffin said the cooperation and dedication of the Healthcare Authority Board has made the renovations and expansions possible.

“I would like to thank both the Board and the Commission for their ongoing support and leadership with this project.” Griffin said. “We truly would not have been able to make this a reality without their understanding and vision of the healthcare needs of our patients and our community.”

Griffin said the expansion and renovation of the hospital’s surgical suites will make additional services possible in the future with an upgraded facility and technology.

“We are always looking at ways we can improve and what we can do to serve the people of this community right here at home,” Griffin said. “ We added new services last year and will continue to add services as it becomes possible.  With a large number of medical procedures shifting to the out paitient world, these expansions and renovations will allow us to offer more services than before.”

Included in the $7.5 million upgrade is the addition of a new emergency room and waiting area to be added to the Northeast corner of the hospital. The project also includes plans for two new surgical suites on the Southeast corner and the renovation of the existing emergency room for outpatient services. Additions to the public waiting area in outpatient services, common registration areas, radiology renovations and additional hospital parking North of Edgewood Drive are also included in the plans.

Healthcare Authority board members Bernie Wall and Ruth Harrell, and D.W. McMillan

Memorial Hospital administrator, Chris Griffin made the expansion and renovations plans official by signing the loan for the project on November 15 with BankTrust of Brewton. The architect for the project is Sherlock, Smith & Adams, with offices in Montgomery and Birmingham.