University Medical Center previews their new ER - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/10/09

University Medical Center previews their new ER

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By Kristin Beerman | email

Edited by Jon Bush | email 

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - University Medical Center opened their doors for a preview tour Thursday, of its newly expanded 23,000 square foot emergency room.  This new expansion is due to an aging population increasing the workload for emergency rooms while the population for this part of West Texas continues to climb.  Officials at UMC say this $10-million expansion to the emergency room is the solution to the increasing critical demand.

Greg Bruce, Vice President of Corporate Service at UMC said, "The benefits to the community I think is really twofold. One is it allows us to handle the capacity needs that we need to care for patients. Two, I think it shows that our hospital, our public hospital is financially strong and doing very well. UMC's still debt free and this is something we are very proud of."

Before the addition, UMC's emergency room saw about 70,000 patients per year. With the new expansion, they will now able to accommodate about 100,000 patients per year, which is nearly a 50% increase.

The newly expanded emergency room is not the only growth on the horizon at UMC.  Officials Thursday also unveiled plans to build a $46-million four-story tower to the east of the mail building with its focus on family centered maternity care.

Tammy Williams, Vice President of Women's and Children's at UMC said, "Our post-partum area which is the family care unit and the newborn nursery will connect actually to our Children's Hospital which has the pediatrics and the pediatric I.C.U. all on that same area. So it will actually all be together on the second floor. Now currently, we are separated by a floor."

The east tower should be completed by the end of 2011, adding 94 beds and 75 new jobs. Also, the tower will open with its third and fourth floor empty, to allow for later growth and more beds as needed.

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