Beam me up Ceremony highlights progress on new ER facility
BOB SLOAN Editor
A steel beam bearing the names of dozens of McLeod Regional Medical Center employees was hoisted by a crane and placed at the highest point of a steel frame structure during a ceremony at the medical center on Thursday morning.
With the work of contractor Balfour-Beatty, the steel structure will soon be transformed into new building that will house as, among other things, the center’s new emergency department.
The four-floor building will consist of 68 exam rooms, five trauma rooms, an Obstetrics Emergency Triage, labs, support and transitional rooms, secure suites for behavioral health patients, an expanded Neonatal Intensive Care Unit on the third floor that includes a children’s activity room, and a 31,000-square foot postpartum department.
The facility will have five ambulance bays and a new helipad.
“This is going to be something,” said Marie Saleeby, Senior Vice President and Administrator of McLeod Regional Medical Center. “Our emergency department is overcrowded and can’t fulfill its mission of serving the people of Florence and the Pee Dee. This will allow us to serve the community at a much higher level,”
Thomas Lewis, the medical director of emergency services at McLeod, said the new facility has very special meaning for him.
“This is personal for me,” said Lewis. “I was born in this hospital. I met my met wife here. Two of our three daughters were born here. To me, this is home.”
He said that watching the building slowly take shape is “like being a kid at Christmas again.”
Lewis said current emergency department treats around 80,000 patients per year in a space designed for just 60,000. He said the department is designed to serve 109,500 patients a year.
“It improves access care for emergency services, “said Lewis. “It improves efficiency for the people of our community and our Pee Dee Region”
Dale Locklair, Senior Vice President of Planning and Facilities Management, said the $89.5 million expansion project is scheduled for completion in December 2020.