Sidney, MT - The year of 2022 has proven to be a year of building as three construction projects gained momentum on the Sidney Health Center campus.
In March, the organization broke ground on a $4.8 million renovation to its emergency department (ED) with the expansion of a new ambulance garage. The entire project includes four phases with an anticipated completion in January 2024. To date, the project is nearly halfway done with Phase One complete and Phase Two nearing completion in February 2023.
The ED renovation is designed to enhance the patient experience for those requiring emergent medical treatment with privacy, safety and quality of care at the forefront. Serving a critical role in the community, the department averaged 500 visits per month in FY2022.
Special features of the renovation include:
• Three-stall ambulance garage with one stall dedicated to incoming ambulances as a patient drop-off point.
• Seven private treatment bays including one trauma unit and two treatment rooms for respiratory-related illnesses.
• Separate ED waiting area including a patient triage area to evaluate patients upon arrival.
• Dedicated space for the respiratory therapy department.
"We are on pace to start Phase Three in February of the coming year and it will likely be the most inconvenient phase for operations," stated Jennifer Doty, Sidney Health Center CEO. "This phase is anticipated to take five months to complete and involves demolition and reconstruction of the current nurse station and old treatment areas. Space will be tight but the newly remodeled space will be worth the wait."
Rehabilitation Services Relocated:
In July, the rehabilitation services including cardiac and pulmonary rehab moved into a newly remodeled space directly behind the Medical Arts Building on 12th Ave. SW. The new construction features a private outside entrance, large windows, and a spacious workout area for patients who have been referred to one of the rehabilitation programs including physical, occupational, speech, or cardiac and pulmonary services.
In line with Sidney Health Center's strategic plan, the need to relocate the rehabilitation services became evident as building improvements and future projects were identified to meet the ever-changing needs of the community. The move not only accommodated the growth of the rehabilitation programs but made room for expansion in other areas.
"One of the challenges at Sidney Health Center is that our facility is land-locked," stated Doty. "We have to be creative in planning for the future and phase our projects accordingly. At some point, our plan is to renovate the Obstetrics wing of the hospital. The first step was to relocate the rehab department to make room for a pending expansion within the next few years."
In August, Sidney Health Center broke ground on the expansion of the Cancer Care Center with the addition of a second vault.
The need to add a second vault to the cancer care suite became necessary in order to prevent disruption of the radiation therapy service for patients undergoing treatment. Without adding the second vault, deconstruction and removal of the current TomoTherapy machine could disrupt service for up to 3 months. This disruption of service would negatively impact current patients undergoing treatment as well as new patients seeking care. In FY2022, the cancer care outpatient service reported 5,994 medical oncology and radiation therapy visits.
The new radiation vault is slated to be completed in October 2023 with the new unit installed and in-service by January 2024. The expansion also includes space designated for a hyperbaric chamber. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is used to speed up healing of wounds including burns associated with radiation therapy.
The total cost of the project is currently estimated at $7 million, which includes the radiation therapy and hyperbaric equipment. Sidney Health Center has agreed to purchase the new TomoTherapy Hi-Art radiation system at the cost of $3.3 million. That price has been locked in and the equipment is reserved and scheduled for delivery.
To date, the Foundation for Community Care has designated $2.5 million in donations for the building expansion and is diligently working to raise additional funds to ensure access to this vital service well into the future. To learn more how you can support this great cause, visit the Foundation's website at foundationforcommunitycare.org.