Hoppin’ hospital plans

Transitional facility to open April 1, tour March 29

By Joseph McCain
Winston County Journal

The public will get its first opportunity to preview the new Transitional Winston Medical Center with an open house and tour on Sunday, March 29 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. with all the public invited.

“We are very excited about the plans for the future of the hospital,” Lex Taylor, outgoing president of the Winston Medical Foundation Executive Board said recently. “First, we must get the word out about the fantastic transitional hospital that is in place and opening the first of April. Then get everyone excited about the plans for the new hospital.”

The transitional hospital will offer 10 private rooms and baths along with full radiology services as well as 7 private rooms for Turning Point. The 15,168 square foot facility for emergency rooms, private rooms, and other medical services is joined to a 1,650 square foot full radiology services building.

“We are ready to roll,” said Robert Higginbotham radiology director at Winston Medical Center. “We have better X-ray system, a better CT scan system, and state of the art mammography ready for everyone.”

While the temporary hospital in the tents limited the staff, the new transitional hospital gets the staff back into a full working environment and the radiology department can once again scan full scale trauma victims.
The transitional hospital cost $3,805,200 for the main building over a 36-month lease. The facility was completed on a lease in order to complete the project in a timely manner. The radiology department setup was purchased and setup for $675,000.

The transitional facility may be in operation until April 2018 when the new hospital is scheduled to be completed.

New hospital campus to offer much healthcare, amenities and possible future expansion
When the doors open on the last building of the new Winston Medical Center campus in April 2018, it will be a mark of triumph over destruction and will have been done with much work and planning.

When the EF4 tornado destroyed the Winston Medical Center in 2014 it was the perservance and hard work of the staff that kept everyone safe. Perservance and hard work will bring the a new and better Winston Medical Center to fruition along with $39,817,597

“”We will have better facilities and will grow,” said Lex Taylor, outgoing president of the Winston Medical Foundation Executive Board.

The Winston Medical Foundation board has hired Pryor and Morrow of Columbus, MS as the firm to plan and build the project.

“We have worked on a lot of hospitals and Paul Black and his staff have been wonderful,” said Roger Pryor of Pryor and Morrow. “We are planning a concise, efficient and functional hospital,”
The new hospital will be built with an increasing focus on preventive care, outpatient services emergency care, a home environment feel for senior living and rehab along with modern technology.

To enhance the medical center; the Paul Black, Winston Medical Center CEO, worked with the county to purchase an additional 8 acres of property to make the WMC campus 27 acres and have room for potential future growth.

The project aims to have a two-story hospital with 15 patient rooms, an administration building, a “pod” or “green” model of 12 senior living and senior rehab units which has 120 private rooms, a medical center and a maintenance building.

The two-story hospital will be 62,739 square feet and have the ER, emergency lab services, a top of the line dining area that can seat 80 persons, 15 patient rooms and 10 turning point rooms upstairs.

“The ER will be front and center with ease of access,” said Pryor. “The staff had very strong opinions about needing the ER front and center of the new WMC campus.”

The number of rooms compared to the old medical center has been reduced with a change focus on care.

“We are finding the national trend is outpatient services and preventive care,” said Black.

Taylor added that previous to the tornado the hospital only had 5 rooms that were full at all times.

The radiology and outpatient care services like lab tests will be readily available near the ER. The new food services area will be a focus as well with plans to have community members dine at the facility even when not seeking medical care.

The medical clinic will be 17,000 square feet with room for 6 medical providers. Presently, the hospital has contracted with three. The room on campus for expansion could include other medical practices if details could be worked out and if requested by medical professionals.

Winston Medical Center will employ the newest idea in Senior living and rehab with the plan to build 12 green or pod units which will be 83,974 square feet. Each unit or pod would have private rooms with 10 private rooms in each pod. The WMC campus would have 120 senior care rooms base on the plans.

“This is designed on the idea of each person having a residential home feel,” said Pryor. “This is the leading edge of senior care.”

The existing senior care facility that was repaired after the tornado will remain in place until the new units are ready for the residents to move into them.

“We are hoping to create a sense of being home with the cottages,” said Black.

The senior cottages or pods will have a view of the lake that will be built on the campus with each having a patio and access to the planned walking track around the lake.

The walking track will be part of the preventative care plan of the new medical center.

Each senior care unit will have its own dining area with larger activities available at the large community room to be built as part of the administration building.

The administration building will be 11,930 square feet and will house all administration work along with the community room.

The maintenance building will house all the maintenance other campus needs.

“This is a big project,” said Pryor.

While a timeline has been established for the project, the completion and construction dates are dependent upon FEMA approval.

The timing and timeline of the project is contigent completely on FEMA’s environmental assessment set for May 1, 2015 and their approval of the plans.

“We are in large measure at the mercy of FEMA’s timing,” said Pryor.

With FEMA approval, the timeline is to have Medical Clinic completed by August 2016 with 80 percent of the project completed by Feb. 2017.

“I’m excited about making this a reality,” said Taylor.

“When we come back there is no reason for anyone needing healthcare not to use us,” said Black.

State of the art equipment set and ready at the transitional facility.

State of the art equipment set and ready at the transitional facility.

The concept for the new Winston Medical Center Campus.

The concept for the new Winston Medical Center Campus.

Lex Taylor discussing WMC’s future as he steps down as foundation president and Will Hill takes on the role.

Lex Taylor discussing WMC’s future as he steps down as foundation president and Will Hill takes on the role.