A $2 million construction project will remodel and reorganize the Progressive Care Unit at Hardin Memorial Hospital to make the rooms private.

According to an HMH news release, the PCU includes some of the few remaining semi-private rooms at the hospital.

“Our patients deserve private rooms that allow for optimal rest and healing as well as space for visitors and personal belongings,” Assistant Vice President of Operations Steve White said in the release. “This project will relocate 16 beds to another area of the hospital and will be completed by the end of 2020.”

The hospital’s PCU is a transitional floor which cares for medical and surgical patients whose needs are not serious enough for the Intensive Care Unit but are too complex for a regular hospital floor. Currently, the department has 34 beds — two are private and 32 semi-private which means double occupancy.

Sharon Wright, vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer, added semi-private rooms in PCU can cause disadvantages for caregivers.

“The Progressive Care Unit’s high volume, coupled with the small semi-private rooms, creates unique challenges for nurses and staff providing care,” Wright said in the release. “This renovation will help improve efficiency and employee morale, too.”

The Hardin Memorial Health Board of Trustees, which is comprised of the nine members of Hardin Fiscal Court, approved the $2 million investment during its meeting Tuesday.

Also during the meeting, Dr. Juston Pate, Eliz­abeth­town Community and Technical College president and CEO, presented the HMH Board of Trustees with a Philanthropic Award for their investment in the college.

At the October trustees meeting, HMH pre­sent­ed a $100,000 do­na­tion to support the University Center at the college.

“ECTC has long been critical to HMH’s success. The new Uni­ver­sity Center will help even more HMH team members advance their careers,” said Wright, who also serves as the Uni­ver­sity Center Campaign Committee co-chair. “HMH is growing rapidly and the only way we can continue to deliver high quality health care is to recruit and retain a well-trained workforce.”

Interim Chief Fi­nan­cial Officer Pam Gall­a­gher also presented a financial report for No­vem­ber and De­cem­ber at the meeting. In No­vem­ber, the hospital reported a net loss of $2.6 million compared to a planned $1.4 million gain. According to the release, Gallagher attributed the variance in part to decreased inpatient surgical volumes, a continuation from the lower than budgeted October 2019 numbers.

However, December saw favorable outcomes. The release said HMH reported an operating income of $1.1 million during the month, almost twice the budgeted $561,000 revenue. Gallagher attributed the increase to higher volumes across the health care system.