Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Rotary club gets sneak peek at Aspirus Ontonagon Hospital


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Ontonagon — The Ontonagon-White Pine Rotary Club had an opportunity this week to preview the $2.84 million construction slated for the Aspirus Ontonagon Hospital.

Project manager Leanne Jessup presented the group with the floor plan, drawings and other details of the project, scheduled for groundbreaking in June.

The main focus of the construction will be the emergency department, which has had a privacy issue that needed to be addressed.

Jessup showed pictures of the present congested room, which separates patients from each other only by a curtain. She said the present emergency room area will be gutted. In its place will be a new walk-in patient entrance and vestibule.

“There will be a remodeled and enlarged family waiting, reception and triage, separated from the treatment area,” she added. In addition, there will be three exam and treatment rooms, a patient restroom, work station and storage area.

New heating and cooling systems dedicated to the emergency department will be installed.

Patient room interior finishes will be upgraded and new exterior windows in patient rooms and public corridors and nurses station will be installed.

Jessup said the present emergency department is part of the original structure of the hospital, built in 1968, and the entire ED is about 850 square feet. “Privacy has been a major concern,” Jessup explained, adding there is no waiting area for patients and families, so they tend to stand in the hall near the nurse and doctor work station.

Presently there is no area for EMS personnel to complete paperwork upon arrival. “Infrastructure in the original 1968 building is woefully inadequate to support contemporary health delivery, including an aging HVAC system, lack of space, and lack of barriers to keep communication confidential,” Jessup said.

“Our goal with the project is to improve current patient care delivery, improve patient privacy and provide a more functional workplace for ED staff and providers,” she explained.

The construction will occupy 1,460 square feet of new space and 6,750 square feet of renovated space.

General contractor is Miron  Construction. It is expected to be completed  in March 2017.

Jessup said during construction,  there will be many directional signs for hospital users to the  emergency areas and many other contingencies are also  available. She said because the construction cost is under $3 million, there is no need  to re-apply for a certificate of need. That  could have caused the hospital considerable delays in its  construction.

Jessup said she would be glad to give a similar preview to other organizations in the area, as well.