County’s new hospital opens soon
A couple thousand people accepted an invitation from Harrison County Hospital to tour its new facility that is set to open Feb. 21. The new $47 million hospital, located on 40 acres between Corydon-Ramsey Road and S.R. 337 just south of Interstate 64, replaces the original hospital that was built in 1950 and has since been added on to numerous times. Initially, the old hospital was located on eight acres, but additional purchase of land has increased the campus off Atwood Street near Corydon’s downtown to 11 acres.
‘The whole thing is surprising,’ said Bob Bradley of Corydon, who toured the hospital and attended a dedication ceremony at 2 p.m. ‘I hope I never have to come in (for any medical reason) … it’s a neat place.’
An estimated 2,500 to 3,000 people toured the facility on Saturday during the open house held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Others in the area, including the county’s firefighters and expectant parents who plan to deliver their babies there, have been invited to see the hospital at other times. And the ‘Friends of Harrison County Hospital’ were treated to a sneak preview Friday night.
Ruth Fackler of Brandenburg was so impressed with what she saw Saturday that she said she would be willing to pay taxes to help with the facility’s funding if she could.
She also questioned physical therapist manager Steve Powell if her husband, who travels to Hardinsburg, Ky., for rehab following heart surgery, could transfer to the Corydon hospital for therapy.
Powell answered in the affirmative.
The physical therapy department for HCH is currently located in a lower level of the Medical Office Building next to the hospital. Space for the department in the new hospital will offer showers and lockers, amenities the old department doesn’t have, as well as a view of the front parking lot of the hospital and I-64 beyond that.
Besides the PT area and cardiac rehab center, visitors got a first-hand look at the Sleep Center, a birthing room in the obstetrics department, a patient room in the surgical wing and the Emergency Dept. They also received an up-close look at the 64-slice CT Scan, MRI machine and steam autoclave that is used to sterilize instruments, as well as a sneak peak into areas, like one of three operating rooms, that will be off limits to the general public once the new hospital opens.
Ray Stroud told visitors in the surgical care wing that the beds in the patient rooms will do just about everything.
‘We spent a lot of time picking out the beds’ to purchase for the new facility, he said.
The tour ended in the dining room, located in the lower level of the three-story building, where guests received a travel mug imprinted with the hospital’s logo.
The dedication ceremony was held in the atrium lobby entrance.
‘Isn’t it a nice place?’ asked Steve Taylor, the hospital’s CEO, during the dedication.
He stated that the new facility is spacious, functional and pleasing to the eye.
‘Given all we could do with the old hospital, imagine what we can do here,’ he said.
Taylor said the hospital, which has about 465 employees, has increased its net worth from $4 million to $52 million since 1989.
‘We’re on our way,’ said Paul (Pete) Martin, a hospital board member for 30-plus years and the current chairman. ‘The trustees have worked hard to put this together. Anything that needed to be upgraded, we did.’
He explained how the new facility is being funded: $30 million from a hospital revenue bond issue, $12 million from Harrison County Gaming Revenue Sharing and a $5 million contribution from the Harrison County Community Foundation.
‘No property tax money is involved,’ he said. ‘Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But, it’s been a long road.’
Martin noted that the county doesn’t have a new hospital yet.
‘This will be a hospital when we fill it up with people, patients and doctors,’ he said.
Additional sneak previews are planned, including one by the Chamber of Commerce of Harrison County when it holds its Business After Hours there on Thursday, Feb. 14, just a week before the first patient is moved in.
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