Expansion set for March completion

By Tony Parra

Roosevelt General Hospital Administrator James D’Agostino has had RGH board members and other people tour the new medical office building addition and the emergency room, which are set to be completed within the next two months.
D’Agostino and other hospital officials are looking at Feb. 17 as a final date of completion of the emergency room and a completion of the medical office building expansion by mid-March. Dan Stivers of Cooper Medical Building Inc., the construction foreman of the project, said those are the target dates for completion of the MOB addition and new emergency room.
Cooper Medical Building Inc. is a company which specializes in the design and construction of healthcare facilities. Cooper Medical Building Inc. has completed hundreds of healthcare facilities, according to the company’s Web site.
D’Agostino said $89,000 was allocated through gross receipts tax for the projects. D’Agostino said major benefits to the medical office building expansion is the additional room for 11 physicians, medical staff and the patients. The medical office building will expand from 8,000 square feet to more than double the size — 16,900 square feet.
According to D’Agostino, there will be 31 exam rooms and five procedure rooms in addition to the 11 offices.
“HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of the United States Department of Health) wants us to keep it more segregated,” D’Agostino said about the space. “We want to keep up to code.”
The new emergency room and ramp the ambulance will use and the back portion of the hospital will provide more benefits to the RGH medical staff and Emergency Management System staff of the Portales Fire Department.
“It helps with safety issues,” John Bridges, RGH director of cardio-pulmonary and EMS battalion chief at the Portales Fire Department, said. “It’s about having better access. The area is well-lit.”
Carol Rueter, Director of Patient Care, also stated the importance of safety and visibility in the new emergency room, compared to the current one in previous RGH board meetings. She said it was tough to see everyone who was in the waiting room and keep track of everyone to make sure they weren’t wandering around.
Medical staff and patients are already using the newly constructed portion of the medical office building located to the south, behind the front portion which is currently in construction. Stivers said the medical staff moved into the newly constructed portion two weeks after Thanksgiving.
D’Agostino said state senator Stuart Ingle helped get funding for equipment for the emergency room and furniture for the medical office building through capital outlay requests.