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Hospital expansion looming

ELIZABETHTOWN - It's the Eve of Construction for the Elizabethtown Community Hospital. The plan have been in the works for several years - and now it's time for the work to begin. ECH will break ground on its expansion project April 1. "The major thrust of this is for improved patient confidentiality, privacy in the emergency room, and also for improved patient flow through the facility," said ECH executive director Rodney Boula. The project is estimated to cost $6.7 million, of which $4.7 million will be financed through grants and bonding. An additional $2 million is currently being raised through a fund-drive. The renovation and expansion project at ECH will not only enhance patient care, but also increase the services available to the community. This project will include the renovation and expansion of the Emergency Room, improving privacy for patients, new state-of-the-art patient rooms, a family waiting area, and a workroom for EMTs. The project also includes adding such services as cardiac rehabilitation, chemotherapy treatment and mobile services for MRI and PET scanning. Other highlights of the project include: -A new main entrance with a spacious lobby, confidential patient registration area and quick access to the laboratory; -More space for the inpatient sub-acute rehabilitation program to add more equipment and treat more patients; -Reconfiguration of the Radiology Department to be more patient-friendly and more efficient for staff; -More space for the laboratory to add equipment and allow for storage; and -A multi-purpose education room for meetings, trainings and special events. Boula said construction would take place in stages, with the first stage focusing on the Emergency Room and creating a designated space for the specialty clinics, including two procedure rooms. The first stage will hopefully be completed by late 2008. Due to the construction, there will be temporary changes in the entrances. The main entrance to the hospital will be in a new temporary location. On the parking lot side of the hospital the entrance door is close to the designated handicap parking. As soon as you come in the door, you will be at patient registration. Volunteers will be available to answer questions and give direction. The Emergency Room entrance will be relocated to the entrance facing Horace Nye Home and will be restricted only to ambulance use. Those who have an emergency can use this entrance, but are asked not to park there. The new main entrance for patients, visitors and employees to park will be the second driveway past the hospital and will be clearly marked. Handicapped parking will be available at the first driveway closest to the hospital and will also be clearly marked. Parking will be limited. The parking lot is restricted only to hospital patients, visitors and employees and will be monitored. Any other vehicle is subject to be towed at the owners expense. 'Eve of Construction' celebrated in song For those wanting a more whimsical take on the construction project, a local musician has recorded a song. Brent Vosburg, a singer with the band Southern Cross, has created a song that explains the project. Eve Of Construction . "I was approached by the hospital. They wanted to know if I could change words around to let people know what was going on at the hospital with all the construction and work taking place," said Vosburg. Vosburg performed guitar and vocals on the song, which is set to the melody of "Eve of Destruction." The song was recorded at the Daniel Sadowoski studio in Moriah, who donated the facility for the song production. Vosburg said "Eve of Construction" was another was to explain what was going on at the hospital, since music was a good way to convey a message. Working on the song illustrated to Vosburg how much work would be going on. Vosburg, an Elizabethtown resident, said he was happy to support the hospital. Having the facility, he explained, was important to the community. "It can be a life or death situation. Knowing you have capable staff and modern facility to see medical help can save lives," said Vosburg. Southern Cross recently released "Houses of the Lonely," a CD currently available for sale. Vosburg is also working on a solo album.

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