A rendering of the planned at Emergency Department expansion at Iredell Memorial Hospital.

Special to Iredell Free News

Iredell Health System on Thursday announced plans to significantly expand Iredell Memorial Hospital’s critical care unit and emergency department.

The expansion will increase the size of he emergency department (ED) by 4,805 square feet and the critical care unit (CCU) by 11,195 square feet. The project will also include the renovation of the existing CCU. The ED will expand into the current emergency physician parking lot, and the expanded CCU will be built on top of that expansion.

“This project is extremely important to the future of Iredell Health System. Following the recent closure of Davis Regional Medical Center, we recognize the immediate needs of our community while at the same time are considering the future,” said John Green, president and CEO of Iredell Health System.

The Board of Directors has approved $22 million to pay for the expansion.

The project team responsible for the construction and design of the expansion and renovation includes The Beck Group, Syska Hennessy, and Rodgers Builders Inc.

“This complicated vertical expansion project and renovation will be an incredible state-of-the-art addition to the hospital. By using local and regional companies to procure and construct this project, we are able to keep more of the dollars spent and workforce on this project within Iredell County and North Carolina. We are excited to partner with Iredell Health System and Beck Architecture on this significant project,” said Todd Joyce, senior vice president of Rodgers Builders Inc.

The ED expansion will include the addition of 10 new treatment spaces, including several new exam rooms, three spacious critical care rooms for patients needing that level of care upon entering the emergency department, as well as four secure behavioral health holding rooms, with a special entrance and exit for patient privacy.

“Expanding the emergency department creates space for more exam treatment rooms, larger critical care rooms, and a new and secure behavioral health holding area. To truly support the community, we’ve expedited the design of this project while still ensuring we meet current and future needs in the space,” said Jean Lee Pirkey, the architect and project manager at The Beck Group, which is leading design for the project.

A rendering of the planned expansion of the Critical Care Unit at Iredell Memorial Hospital.

Iredell Memorial Hospital’s CCU currently has 16 rooms. After the expansion, the CCU will have 27 total rooms, with four rooms containing special bariatric ceiling lifts. The lifts make it easier for caregivers to safely lift and transfer all patients. Additionally, all 11 of the new rooms are capable of transforming into negative pressure isolation rooms, in case of the surge of a highly contagious disease, like COVID-19. In the second phase of the project, the existing CCU will be renovated with all new state-of-the-art equipment, beds, and larger patient rooms.

“The expansion and improvements we’re designing bring the latest healthcare innovation and best practices to the community, our patients, and healthcare teams. For the critical care unit, it means larger patient rooms and more of them. There will be more natural daylight, which will improve the overall environment. We’re also establishing a consistent layout across the 27 patient rooms so care teams can seamlessly work together,” added Pirkey.

Since this is a large, complex project taking place on hospital grounds, Iredell Health System remains committed to ensuring patients are safe during the construction.

“Patient safety always comes first. We do a safety assessment and ensure we protect patients, visitors, staff, and all others from construction and sound. We always evaluate the infection control and do an infection control risk assessment as well,” said Scott Graham, director of engineering and building operations for Iredell Health System.

Work on this major project to the hospital campus is starting immediately, with some supply chain-challenged items needed for the expansion, like steel, already being ordered. Activity on campus will start to be seen in April 2023.

The ED expansion is estimated to be completed in the first quarter of 2024, and the CCU expansion completed in June of the same year. The existing CCU is projected to be entirely renovated by the end of 2024.

“While this is certainly not the only task and project that we will need to do, this is an extremely important one to initiate promptly to support our staff, our patients, and our community. I am excited for our future as we continue to expand to provide great care to our community,” said Green.

Emergency Department Expansion
Critical Care Unit Expansion

About Iredell Health System

Iredell Health System includes Iredell Memorial Hospital; Iredell Mooresville; Iredell Home Health; Iredell Wound Care & Hyperbaric Center; Community and Corporate Wellness; Occupational Medicine; the Iredell Physician Network and more. Iredell Memorial Hospital is the largest and only nonprofit hospital in Iredell County. The comprehensive healthcare facility has 247 beds; more than 1,800 employees; and has 260 physicians representing various specialties. Centers of excellence include Women’s and Children’s; Cardiovascular; Cancer; Surgical Services and Wellness & Prevention. The Health System’s newest campus, Iredell Mooresville, is home to the area’s only 24-hour urgent care facility, as well as an ambulatory surgery center, imaging center, rehabilitation services, and physician practices. The mission of Iredell Health System is to inspire wellbeing. For a comprehensive list of services and programs, visit www.iredellhealth.org.

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