Jackson Hospital is about to break ground on their largest renovation and expansion in thirty years. During the $6.5 million project, they’ll widen the front waiting room and double the size of their emergency room. Hospital spokesperson Rosie Smith said it’s been a long time coming.
“I think the whole community is looking forward to this,” Smith said.
“We’re all very excited.”
Dr. Duane Herring has worked in the hospital’s ER for twenty years. He arrived just before its last renovation in 1991. That project was designed to allow the ER to handle about 12,000 to 13,000 visitors per year. Now they’re up to an average of 26,000 to 27,000 per year.
On top of the increased numbers, Herring said medicine has changed. Older patients are now being seen more often, and more time is being spent to diagnose and treat all types of patients.
“That takes time,” Herring said.
“And despite the fact that we’ve increased staff, we’ve increased community support we’ve increased specialty support—we still are space restricted.”
A year from now, when construction is planned to finish, the ER will be twice the size it is now. So will the hospital’s front waiting room. It is currently very small, and easily overwhelmed. It also does not allow for very much privacy. Smith said several walls will come down, and the open space will be much more comfortable for those who have to wait. There will also be separate alcoves for those who desire more privacy.
The groundbreaking will be held Wednesday at 4pm out in front of the Hospital.