Patience, patients

By on December 5, 2013

Ephrata Community Hospital’s new emergency room was fully completed in October and now offers a new waiting room and reception area. (Photo by Stan Hall)

Ephrata Community Hospital’s new emergency room was fully completed in October and now offers a new waiting room and reception area. (Photo by Stan Hall)

ECH completes ER; meets $5 million capital campaign goal

After years of planning, fundraising and construction, Ephrata Community Hospital has unveiled its finished product.

The $13 million state-of-the-art emergency room was completed in October, and the entire facility is now open to the public. The final product introduces a new waiting area, reception and registration area in addition to the 26 new patient care rooms, space for less-urgent patients and rooms for those with behavioral health needs. The last phase includes a conference room space, which will be completed this month.

In addition to completing the emergency room, the hospital also reached its capital campaign goal of $5 million.

The original emergency room was constructed in 1986 and was equipped to serve about 16,000 patients per year. Currently, the hospital serves 32,000. The increase resulted in a lack of space for patients, additional wait time, crowding and utilizing hallways as make-shift rooms.

“We launched the capital campaign in 2011 with early contributions from individuals, businesses, physicians, board members and our own employees,” said Joanne Eshelman, Director of Community Relations at the hospital. “Throughout this campaign, we held major fundraising events, such as Day in the Park, the Golf Tournament, The Starlight Gala and invited the community to help us ‘Build a New Emergency Department.’”

The capital campaign fund of $5 million was used to help fund the overall cost of the Emergency Department expansion, which totaled $13 million.

Amenities and features of the new emergency room include:

• An additional 13,000 square feet, creating a 26,000 square foot emergency department.

• Increased space for patients with behavioral health concerns.

• A new Telestroke capability allows the emergency department team to consult with physicians at Hershey Medical Center.

• Increased level of privacy for patients and their family members.

• Streamlined triage, diagnosis and treatment of emergency patients, especially for those with more acute needs.

“Emergency care is a service that potentially touches every family in this community, and people have responded generously to the need to expand this service here in Ephrata,” added Eshelman. “We are very thankful for every gift provided to the hospital through the Emergency Department Campaign.”

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