Last updated: August 08. 2014 11:34AM - 521 Views
By Mindy Miller mmiller@civitasmedia.com

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HAZARD — Congressman Hal Rogers and other state, local, and federal officials convened at the Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center on the afternoon of Monday, August 4, for a special ribbon cutting ceremony for the new, 100,000 square foot Joe Craft Tower.

This state-of-the-art expansion, named for Perry County native Joe Craft, who donated $1 million to the project, began in 2012. The project was completed through $47 million in low-interest direct and guaranteed loans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The three-story building houses a new Emergency Department (ED) on its ground floor, doubling the capacity of the current ED. The new ED features 24 private examination and treatment rooms, 4 fully equipped, modern trauma rooms, 5 fully equipped cardiac care rooms, and 2 emergency pediatric treatment rooms, along with various other rooms and amenities. The second floor is occupied by a 16-bed Cardiovascular/Critical Care Unit, and located on the third floor is a 34-bed Medical Surgical Step-Down Unit, which, according to a hospital spokesperson, was designed with patient safety and comfort in mind. There is also a rooftop heliport.

The Joe Craft Tower, with its expanded Emergency Department and 50 additional beds, makes the Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center the largest medical center in southeast Kentucky.

“This means access to greater technology and more services as far as healthcare goes,” said Dan Stone, CCEO of Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center.

“Also, the creation of approximately 150 jobs,” Stone continued. “It’s economic development for a community that needs that. For our employees, it’s a great environment. It’s new and brighter and kind of more cheerful. So, we’re excited for everyone to be able to open up the new tower.”

According to the USDA, “the medical center needed to expand because it had outgrown its facility, wanted to reduce wait times, increase the number of acute inpatient beds and provide more space for its emergency department.”

In addition to impressive technological and equipment upgrades, the building also features rooms furnished for family and patient comfort. Many of the rooms have recliners and/or sleep sofas and ergonomic patient chairs. There are also private family waiting rooms, a family eating area, two full baths and showers, and family linen provided.

Mindy Miller can be reached at 606-436-5771, or on Twitter @HazardHerald.

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