Construction to begin Monday on hospital addition

By Tony Parra

Cooper Medical Building will begin work on an addition to the medical office building on Monday, construction foreman Dan Stivers at Thursday’s Roosevelt County Special Hospital District meeting.
The Roosevelt County Special Hospital District Board of Trustees approved the designs for the medical building addition. Hospital Administrator James D’Agostino said the plans for the addition have been sent to the state architect, Rita Meeks, and once she places her stamp of approval on the plans they can begin the other aspects of the construction.
The medical building addition will be behind the medical building towards the south. D’Agostino handed out designs of the addition and explained to the hospital officials and board of trustee members the sliding doors for the ambulance entry way. He said only ambulance people have keypads and they’re the only ones who can get in.
“They’ll (ambulance people) get a straight shot to the emergency room,” D’Agostino said. “I had a meeting with ambulance people before putting together the layout.”
D’Agostino and Carol Rueter, Director of Patient Care, addressed another concern with the new waiting room.
“The main concern is safety and visibility,” Rueter said. “There are times right now, when it’s tough to see everyone in the waiting room. There will be many family members to see one patient and it’s tough for the emergency clerk to keep track of everybody.”
Stivers advised the meeting members he is eager to begin on the construction of the addition.
“We’ve got all the contractors signed up,” Stivers said. “We’re ready to start building. I can start on Monday, digging and tearing out the concrete.”
Stivers said he has been in construction for 44 years and advised the members that safety is his main concern while working on the addition.
“If you want to come and look, I don’t care, but we are very up on OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) rules,” Stivers said. “We’ll get a hard hat for you. We’re very safety-oriented.”
Rueter also gave a patient report for Roosevelt General Hospital, which stated that there were 789 patients and 40 eye surgeries for the month of March. Rueter also advised the board that Danny Justus, Rehab Services Director and Gary Partin (Home Health Director) are working together to get cardiac rehabilitation available and they are hoping the service is available by the end of April.
“We need to have the policies and procedures approved by the Home Health department in Roswell,” Rueter said. “After that we need to get patients to meet the quota and they’ll do the inspections. Patients wish we had it going now.”
Rueter said there is no cardiac rehabilitation program in the Portales area.