Stringfellow expansion reaches halfway mark
by Patrick McCreless
pmccreless@annistonstar.com
Dec 02, 2012 | 3884 views |  0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Workers are shown at the site of new construction at Stringfellow Memorial Hospital in Anniston. (Anniston Star photo by Stephen Gross)
Workers are shown at the site of new construction at Stringfellow Memorial Hospital in Anniston. (Anniston Star photo by Stephen Gross)
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The sounds of mechanical sawing, bulldozing and hammering echoed through the bare walls of Stringfellow Memorial Hospital’s construction site Thursday. Nearby, several men erected steel supports while others installed an air conditioning system.

The Anniston hospital’s expansion is now more than 50 percent complete and should be done by the summer — bringing with it increased medical services for area residents.

“We hope to meet the growing needs of Calhoun County,” said Thomas Roddy, associate administrator at Stringfellow. “Health care is evolving and changing and we want to make sure we are at the forefront.”

The approximately $7.2 million, 2,250-square-foot expansion and renovation project includes building three new operating rooms, adding new equipment and transforming old office space into waiting rooms, surgery recovery bays and holding areas. The new operating rooms will be used in addition to the hospital’s three current operating rooms.

“We’re really excited about being able to provide a higher level of care for the community,” Roddy said.

Unlike Stringfellow’s current operating rooms, the new ones will be known as smart OR's, due to their inclusion of state-of-the-art technology. The new operating rooms will provide mechanical integration and centralized control of equipment, video and audio routing to and from monitors and documentation equipment to other areas of the hospital.

“We’ll provide surgeons with all the latest technology they need,” said Ken Nichols, director of plant operations at Stringfellow.

The extra operating rooms will also expand the hospital’s surgery capacity, Roddy said.

The area under renovation was once used for general office space but had to be emptied once construction began.

“That will not have any impact in terms of care for patients,” Roddy said.

The renovated section will house a support lab for the new operating rooms, 10 recovery bays, four holding areas and 16 same-day surgery rooms. Far down the hall toward the main part of the hospital was a larger area once open to the outside. Construction crews have since enclosed the area with large windows and matched the façade with the existing outside look of the hospital. Once finished, the new section will become another waiting room and reception area, Nichols said.

Nichols said that the project had experienced few hiccups and should be completed on schedule.

“We had a few rain delays but other than that it’s been pretty smooth,” Nichols said.

Stringfellow Memorial is a 125-bed acute care hospital owned by Florida-based Health Management Associates. Stringfellow has a medical staff of approximately 170 physicians who represent 30 medical specialties.

Staff writer Patrick McCreless: 256-235-3561. On Twitter @PMcCreless_Star.

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