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New hospital a welcomed change

It hasn’t been that long ago that hospitals had an institutional feeling about them. You know, they were dark, dreary, almost depressing places to be. It’s a wonder anyone could get better while there.
Then came the notion that patients would recover quicker if they were in a more aesthetically-pleasing environment.
Many existing hospitals remodeled to accomplish this goal, while new construction automatically incorporated it in the building process.
In 1950, Harrison County Hospital built its first facility ‘ a 21,000-square-foot structure ‘ in Corydon.
As Corydon grew, so did the hospital.
By the time I moved to Harrison County in 1978, the facility had already been added on to a few times and had become quite a maze of corridors. With each addition, the facility retained its old, outdated look.
I never had a need to use the hospital until 1984, when I gave birth to my first child. I recall entering the emergency department, as it was about 1 a.m. and that was the entrance used at that hour. Once the staff was sure I wasn’t experiencing false labor, they wheeled me through a maze of hallways back to the obstetrics department. The rooms then were not equipped as birthing rooms, so I had to wait until the delivery room was free from another new mom before I had my son.
When I needed the hospital’s services again, in 1985, for the birth of my second child, I again had to enter through the emergency department as it was again before daytime hours. By then, the Dillman Obstetrics Pavilion had been added on to the hospital, so I didn’t feel like I was being taken to the dungeon. The stay was much improved with the more modern OB department.
My family has used Harrison County Hospital a few other times in the past 22 years, including trips to the emergency room, as well as inpatient and outpatient care. While the care received was fine, the facility was not as nice as what we had seen in other areas. Harrison County remained behind the times.
Sure, services are more important than having creature comforts when it comes to being taken care of in the medical world. But it was obvious that the hospital had outgrown its space, again, and that the staff probably wasn’t functioning as well as it should under the constraints.
Furthermore, there definitely was no privacy for anyone at the old facility off Atwood Street.
So it’s for these reasons and many more than I welcomed the construction of a new hospital, one designed to meet the community’s needs for at least the next 50 years. Sure, there were concerns about the location, but hopefully since the new hospital opened three weeks ago, those have been laid to rest. There is definitely room to expand at the new 40-acre site, whereas the old facility had become landlocked.
The new 159,000-square-foot structure was designed to be pleasing to the senses as well as functional. The staff ‘ some 465 people ‘ have room to do their work.
One of the most noticeable improvements is the details to help maintain privacy. From the time someone first arrives, whether it’s through the main, front door or the Emergency Department, cubicles now have doors and walls so as to keep conversations with receptionists, nurses, doctors or whoever more confined rather than heard by all within the immediate area.
Will the new hospital be perfect? Of course not, but we do have a modern facility, with top-notch professionally people who are here to tend to our needs. I hope I won’t require their services any time in the near future, but at least I know I will be served by a facility that has my best interest in mind.

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