Stronger as one: Improvements begin at Natchez Regional
Published 12:01 am Saturday, November 15, 2014
NATCHEZ — Improvements to Natchez Regional Medical Center in advance of the consolidation of the two area hospitals have begun.
Work to replace the flooring, ceiling tiles and lighting fixtures on the bottom floor of Natchez Regional Medical Center has started, and hospital officials said broader and more significant improvements to the facility are coming.
The hospital is in the process of applying for certificates of need that will allow it to reopen its cath lab and begin the needed construction, which includes renovations to the fourth floor patient rooms, the emergency department and labor and delivery.
Email newsletter signup
The renovations are necessary for the hospital to handle the patient volume of the consolidated hospital.
Certificates of need are a state mandated process intended to restrain health care costs and allow coordinated planning of new services and construction while reducing duplication of services. The certificate application is reviewed and ultimately approved or denied by the Mississippi State Department of Health.
The decision of the MSDH can be appealed in the Chancery Court.
Natchez Community Hospital’s parent company, Community Health Systems, purchased NRMC in October and will consolidate both hospitals into a single facility on the NRMC campus during 2015.
“The energy and sense of optimism is strong on both (hospital) campuses and throughout the community as well,” said Eric Robinson, chief executive officer of NRMC and Natchez Community Hospital. “There is no doubt our community hospitals are better together and stronger as one.”
The hospitals are continuing to operate as separate entities while the consolidation is ongoing, but have launched an informational website, bettertogethernatchez.com, on which residents can read updates and see photos of renovation efforts.
Robinson said the hospital is also beginning several less visible but critically important upgrades to clinical equipment and building systems.
“In the next few weeks, we’ll install a new blood bank refrigeration unit, an additional EKG system in our respiratory therapy department, a new air handler and 5-ton rooftop unit, new kitchen equipment and a new heat exchanger in our boiler room,” Robinson said.
“We’ll also have more visible projects in the coming months as renovation and construction continues, but these infrastructure enhancements are critically important to our patients, and to the long term health of the hospital.”
NRMC Facilities Management Director Ron Bequette said people will soon start to see noticeable changes in the appearance of the hospital.
“It’s exciting to see investments being made in this hospital, and in the future of healthcare for our community,” he said.