OCH moves into design phase of surgery center addition

Dwayne Taylor with Taylor’s Electric out of Hartford works Tuesday in what will become a waiting room for family members, part of the new $16 million surgical department under construction at Ohio County Healthcare.

Ohio County Healthcare has moved into the design phase of its new $16 million surgical department construction project. The system expects to break ground on construction beginning in mid-fall.

Tony Ward, OCH director of pharmacy who is also overseeing the project, said the new surgical center is something the healthcare system has been working toward for many years. However, in the last three, he said there has been “a very aggressive” move to bring it to fruition.

The new surgical center, Ward said, will contain three operating rooms, three procedure rooms, 14 enclosed patient rooms and six post-anesthesia care units, one of which will be an isolation unit.

“We are basically relocating our current surgical department, our current endoscopy suite and our outpatient surgical rooms, so it’s three areas that are going to be relocated and combined into one location now,” said Director of Community Relations Cece Robinson.

The entire project will add 23,000 square feet to the existing facility.

“It’s been a long-range strategic goal of our hospital for many years,” Robinson said.

The former surgical unit will become a space for support services, provider practices, and expanded lab and X-ray areas.

The addition will allow OCH to expand its services and better meet the needs of the community with more space for equipment, and to potentially begin offering more services, Robinson said.

“A major strategic objective for our long-range plans for our healthcare system was to grow and expand our surgical services,” she said. “We also want to move into the robotic surgical arena to help meet the needs of both our current surgical specialties… and to help grow our minimally invasive surgical procedures. That all requires … a larger space that would accommodate the equipment needed for those procedures.”

The construction project will also produce three handicap-accessible high acuity rooms that will also serve as isolation rooms, Ward said.

“We anticipate COVID-19 will be part of our care regimen for many years to come, so as we were undergoing this construction process, we took the opportunity to make sure our inpatient unit was better equipped to deal with any type of high infection disease by creating these additional negative pressure rooms,” Robinson said.

As healthcare continues to grow and evolve, Ward said, facilities must also grow to not only take care of the current needs but to do the best job we can to forecast what the future needs will be.”

Christie Netherton, cnetherton@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7360

Christie Netherton, cnetherton@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7360

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