Funnies Extra!

Hospital emergency needs rising

7/24/13 (Wed)

Hospital emergency needs rising
By STU MERRY
and CHERYL ODDEN

Garrison Memorial Hospital has seen a 20 percent jump in emergency room calls over the last few years. Despite the increase, Tod Graeber, hospital administrator, said emergency care continues to be provided in a single room with two beds.
Fortunately, help is in the works. Referring to a $300,000 loan that will help finance a $500,000 upgrade, Gaeber said, “Our capacity is stretched and we need to expand our ER. This is a wonderful chance to get that done.”
Graeber said the upgrade will provide three private “ER suites.” An elevator, dating back to the 1950s, will also be replaced.
Construction should begin this fall with completion planned for next spring. During the renovation process, Graeber said patient rooms will be converted to temporary emergency rooms.
The low-interest (1 percent) loan is possible through a joint effort of McLean Electric Cooperative (MEC) and USDA’s Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) program. The program provides zero-interest loans and grants to local utility companies which they, in turn, re-lend to local businesses for improvement projects.
Graeber didn’t minimize the importance of the loan as a means to help finance the upgrade. He said “Without this, we probably wouldn’t be able to do it. It’s a great opportunity for us.”