By: Greg Thompson
Source: The News-Enterprise
A large, transparent banner hangs on the side of the parking garage of Hardin Memorial Hospital that reads “Growing the 4th Busiest Emergency Department in Kentucky.”
Steve White, assistant vice president for Hardin Memorial Health, said during Thursday’s board of trustees meeting there are a lot of activities taking place. Specifically, he spoke about the $15 million expansion of the emergency department, expected to be completed in the fall of 2017.
White said changes began Sept. 21 when parking for physicians, officials, police and fire personnel was removed just outside the emergency department’s entrance.
A ground-breaking ceremony was held Thursday afternoon near the parking garage and Woodland Drive entrance to the emergency department.
According to White, a new entrance off Woodland Drive will be created beginning today for emergency services personnel. He also said several mature oak trees will be removed from the campus.
“This will become the fenced-in construction site,” White said.
Other changes will take place Monday – the closing of the walk-in entrance to the emergency department from Woodland being one. White said walk-in traffic will have to enter from the Dixie side, but access from the parking garage will remain open.
Emergency room visits have increased 11 percent from 58,833 in 2014 to an estimated predicted 65,193 by June 30, making the hospital’s emergency department the fourth busiest in the state, officials said earlier this year. Next year, it’s expected there will be 67,870 visits to the emergency room.
In July, Elizabethtown City Council unanimously passed an ordinance to close a portion of Woodland Drive as part of HMH’s emergency room expansion.
A cul-de-sac will be created on Woodland Drive behind the hospital near its Diagnostic Imaging Center. Construction and vehicle turnarounds will extend into what now is the street.