Hospital ER expansion gets boost

Posted May 11, 2009, at 8:45 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 12:08 p.m.

ELLSWORTH, Maine — The new emergency center under construction at Maine Coast Memorial Hospital got a boost recently with a gift from a local bank.

Last week, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust President and CEO Joseph Murphy joined the hospital’s President and CEO Douglas Jones for a tour of the construction site of the new F. Eugene Dixon Jr. Emergency Center. At that time, Murphy announced the bank had pledged $50,000 to the expansion.

“Bar Harbor Bank & Trust is quite pleased to assist Maine Coast Memorial Hospital in developing this welcome addition, which will increase the hospital’s capacity,” Murphy said. “The new emergency center will bring invaluable increases in health care quality to all who depend on [the hospital] for emergency care.”

With the bank’s pledge, the hospital has nearly reached the halfway point in its $5 million capital campaign for the project, according to Kristen Tardiff, MCMH vice president for marketing. The total cost of the emergency room addition is approximately $8 million.

Heavy snow this winter resulted in construction delays but, Tardiff said Monday, crews have made up most of that lost time and the project is back on schedule. Crews now are working steadily on all areas of the project.

The building is enclosed and crews are working on roofing. Inside, much of the second-floor office area has been partitioned and crews are running electrical wiring and getting ready to install walls and ceilings.

Crews have poured the main floor for the emergency center and soon will begin partitioning off the 13 examination rooms and two trauma rooms in the center. Work also has been done on the canopies over the entrance to the new center.

The new emergency center will have 3½ times more space than the current emergency department, which was built in 1989. The existing department was designed to deliver care to 12,000 people a year, but with the population steadily increasing, it now is caring for more than 18,000 people each year.

The center is scheduled to open next spring.

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