FirstLight Health System in Mora opened its new emergency department on Wednesday, Dec. 19, as part of its multi-phased two and a half year long expansion project.
This is the second major phase of the project, following the southwest area of the building that opened in July of 2018. This first phase included a rehabilitation area, inpatient rooms and birthing suites, a dedicated care team and social work area, public dining and an inpatient pharmacy.
So far, completed work encompasses 70,000 square feet, with an additional 17,000 square feet that has been remodeled with the completed square footage for the entire project totaling just shy of 200,000 square feet.
The new emergency department includes 11 exam/trauma rooms that are surrounded by the provider/nurse team area allowing for more efficient care.
The layout of the space enhances privacy and minimizes contact between patients with potentially contagious illnesses and others.
Rooms were designed to be larger yet quieter while accommodating the new technological advances required in emergency medicine.
The helicopter pad was moved this past summer to the northern side of the building allowing for a more private entry and exit point for trauma patients. During tours of the facility, visitors were able to watch the medical helicopter land and take off all from inside the ambulance garage. The ambulance garage is temperature controlled, which is needed for temperature sensitive materials and medicines stored in the ambulances.
Two waiting areas are available for incoming patients, their families and friends along with a more private section once admitted.
FirstLight officials said safety and efficiency were driving principals for the design.
Final Phase still ahead
The third and final phase of the construction project is yet ahead. This phase will include a new gift shop, relocation of the FirstLight Eye Clinic from its location on Union Street to within the hospital campus, improvements to the laboratory, diagnostic imaging, IT department and remodeled waiting areas.
Construction is expected to be finalized in 2019.
Planning and discussions for this project started in 2013 citing improvements to the infrastructure, patient access, services, security and technology.
In total, the expansion project is expected to cost approximately $62 million and will not use any tax dollars.