Bringing care & hope
ER providing small town service
By STU MERRY
ER. Two letters that speak volumes all by themselves.
It can be the scariest place, yet, it can be the most comforting to someone in need of emergency medical attention.
Many times, it is a matter of life and death for the patients who come through the emergency room door.
The ER at CHI St. Alexius Health-Garrison continues to serve a need, not only to area residents, but to the region as well. It’s also being visited more frequently.
Administrator Tod Graeber said since 1999, when he was named administrator, he’s seen a dramatic spike in ER visits.
“We were probably doing about 900 to 1,000 ER visits a year,” he said.
With the ER expanding 3½ years ago, visits rose to about 1,400. In the last two years, hospital officials said the volume of visits has gone up exponentially to where it now exceeds 2,200 a year.
“The ER keeps getting busier and busier,” Graeber said.
The spike in ER visits has forced hospital officials to staff differently.