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Friday, October 24th, 2008

Coldwater hospital construction back on track

By Shelley Grieshop
The $5 million construction project at the hospital in Coldwater is back in action after workers received delayed steel shipments.
The Mercer Health board of governors on Wednesday night were given an update on the project from CEO Jim Wermert, who announced he hopes to have the new emergency department up and running by the end of February. The entire project won't be completed for approximately another year, officials said.
The extensive construction project includes the addition of more than 14,000 square feet for the new emergency department and a portion of the new outpatient services center. Also included in the plan is the renovation of about 9,500 square feet of existing space - including the current emergency room and a portion of the radiology department - to establish the outpatient services center and a women's health center.
The new addition will include private treatment rooms and a separate entrance for ambulance patients at the facility at the corner of West Main and Cedar streets.
Three large trauma rooms will be constructed near the imaging department. Upon completion, the emergency room will consist of nine private rooms and seven examination rooms, plus a consultation room for physicians and families.
In related news, the hospital's board of trustees OK'd the expansion of the parking lot to the rear of the building for staff members.
"We hope to have this expansion completed by the end of November so that we can accommodate the increase in the demand for spaces that comes in the winter when snow takes up additional spaces," Wermert said.
In other business, the new million dollar MRI machine - approved by the board of governors in September - is expected to be completely installed sometime in January.
Also, board members on Wednesday approved the addition of two new physicians to the hospital's medical staff. Granted privileges were Dr. Eric Hensen, a ear, nose and throat specialist, and Dr. Abduhl Usmani, a nephrologist. Hensen is currently seeing patients at the hospital; Usmani will be working out of Celina Pro Health, Mercer Health's satellite office on Pro Drive in Celina.
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