Almost two years to the day ground was broken, Highland District Hospital had closed the chapter on Building Expansion Project 2020, a $23 million investment in the community it has served for more than 100 years. The project rings in a new day for health care in Highland County and the surrounding communities and marks the sixth extensive project in Highland District Hospital history — from a complete new build in 1962 to several expansions and renovations in between.
The 39,000-square foot addition and renovation includes the addition of private, inpatient rooms equipped with the newest technologies; onsite and expanded outpatient rehabilitation services; a new cancer care unit; an expanded and remodeled surgery unit; the expansion and remodel of the cafe, which includes an extended outdoor eating and sitting area; additional patient registration access points; a more easily accessible patient entrance with improved traffic access; and a parking lot expansion.
In partnership with Pepper Construction, TEG Architects, and working collaboratively with Megen Construction, these companies helped build a building for the future, and most importantly invested in the community while completing the project, hiring as many local contractors as possible to see it through to the finish line, the hospital said in a news release.
“Seeing this project develop from the initial planning, to groundbreaking, to the steel beams being raised, all the way to the final light bulb placement has been a project of a lifetime for me and this organization,” said Tim Parry, vice president of operations said in the news release. “It was very important that we involved as many local companies as possible for this renovation and build, as we wanted our community to be a part of this final product, too. Additionally, we want to thank the city of Hillsboro for helping us navigate the permit process and being available to us when we needed them. It was a community effort to reach this finish line.”
Positioned as a rural, critical access hospital, Highland District Hospital’s mission has always been to bring services to the community that would allow for local advanced health care. Plans were set into motion from thebeginning of the project to take each of the new areas and invest in expanding the capabilities and technologies offered to ensure progressive treatment and care options would continue, according to the news release.
“I was raised in Hillsboro and have always viewed our hospital as one of the best,” Parry said. “But this project elevates our service capabilities to a whole new level. Our community deserves this level of care right here, right now, and even into the future.”
The Center for Rehabilitation & Sports Medicine moved from off campus to on campus, located just off of the new patient entrance. It features increased square footage and a new ceiling-mounted, REHABRAIL System that provides safe and effective balance and gait training for patients.
Surgical suites were added and remodeled with the best technologies chosen to integrate into each surgery suite, including the Steris Boom System which allows for a more efficient room setup and better visualization for the surgeons and their team. The Stryker Video System with 4K technology was installed, allowing for optimal visualization during endoscopic procedures, showcasing fluorescence imaging for surgeons needing to see critical structures more clearly.
The final investment in the surgery department was the purchase of the region’s first hand-held, robotics-assisted solution for knee replacements which expands the orthopedic service line to include partial and full knee replacements for the first time at HDH. While all of this technology integration is fully state-of-the-art, it was built for the capability of 8K technology advancements in the future.
The Cancer Care & Hematology Department moved from the third floor to the second floor, designed just off of the elevators to give patients easier access for appointments and treatments, and features individual treatment bays to make patients’ time in the unit as comfortable and healing as possible. Additionally, a nutrition center was added to the unit through donations made to the Highland District Hospital Foundation for families and patients to access refreshments during extended treatment times.
The previous dining room was remodeled and added on to, creating two additional, separate eating rooms that double as meeting space, and now extends to the outdoors where an employee pavilion was built and dedicated to the exemplary employees of HDH. On those grounds is now a covered pergola and an additional picnic seating area for all employees and visitors to enjoy.
The previous medical/surgical inpatient unit was relocated from the second floor to the third floor and features private rooms with innovative equipment including two versatile, ceiling mounted bariatric lifts, two bariatric rooms equipped with bariatric beds, four Hercules Repositioning Systems, and 10 bedside cardiac monitors — all purchased with funds from the Appalachian Regional Commission Grant received by the HDH Foundation. Additionally, there are four critical care rooms located adjacent the nurse’s station, four negative pressure isolation rooms, and an expanded inpatient rehabilitation area for patients who choose to stay onsite for extended therapy and care.
The final touch on the project is an expanded parking lot with easier patient access to enter the building, and also additional registration points for patients to eliminate wait times when registering.
“A project this size doesn’t just transpire. It takes shape and materializes with the support of employees, patients and a community who are willing and eager to help us evolve and grow,” said Randal Lennartz, HDH president and CEO. “It is built by the employee who is notified at a moment’s notice that parking is going to be across the street for the week, and they are happy to change their routine. It is molded by the patient who finds their usual entrance closed, and yet willingly goes to another entrance without hesitation. Finally, it is a project designed for and focused on increasing access to quality care for our community, now, and far into the future. I believe we have done that; and we are looking forward to what that future holds. As of Sept. 21, 2020, a new chapter begins for Highland District Hospital.”
Information for the story was provided by Ashlee D. Cheesbro, marketing manager, Highland District Hospital.