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Takoma Hospital’s Emergency Center Moves Into New Addition
 GREENEVILLE – Takoma Adventist Hospital’s Emergency Center moved into its new addition Thursday, while construction crews turned their efforts to refurbishing the old section.

   Patients are now asked to use the ER’s main entrance, which faces the Asheville Highway. Ambulances will also use this entrance, according to Jason Sanders, the hospital’s ER director. “We asked patients to use our side ambulance entrance during the construction of this new addition but, now that it is completed, they can use the front entrance once again,” Sanders noted.

   The new ER addition features five private exam rooms, each equipped with latest technology, including cable TVs, telephones and computer jacks, he noted.  “We want our patients to be as comfortable as possible, while we tend to their health,” Sanders said.

   Carlyle Walton, president and CEO of the 108-bed, not-for-profit hospital, said he is very pleased with the new addition. “Patients will find us even more accommodating and comfortable,” he said.

   The new addition also features an expanded waiting room, complete with a big-screen TV and a children’s play area. “We wanted it to be very family friendly,” Walton added.

   Workers are now refurbishing the old ER. Once completed in February, the completely renovated Emergency Center – at a cost of about $2 million -- will feature a total of 11 private exam rooms.

Some history

   The multi-million dollar renovation project is being completed in phases so patient service will not be interrupted, Sanders noted.

   The first phase called for raising the canopy for access by the larger ambulances, and extending the road to make room for the new ER addition.

   The new addition was then built, and will be followed by major remodeling inside the current Emergency Center.

   Renovation and expansion of the Emergency Center is the final phase of a $10 million dollar hospital overhaul project, which started in January 2003.

   The project started with a new addition, which features a new and expanded Surgical Center, a permanent MRI unit, a new lobby and patient registration area, and a new elevator tower. Takoma also renovated existing space to provide new and upgraded services, include the addition of eight private medical-surgical rooms and three private labor-delivery-recovery rooms, as well as a new look for the its Birthing Center.

   In addition, a new $6 million medical office called the Takoma Medical Office Building opened April 18, as the result of the need to accommodate the growing Takoma medical staff.

   Located at the corner of East Vann Road and Takoma Avenue, the 45,000-square-foot brick building houses family practice physicians’ Richard J. Aasheim, James E. Gibbs, Mark Hoover, James R. McKinney, Anita Foster, Michael J. Odell, John L. Shaw and Claes U. Svendsen, and physician assistant Mike Stone on the first floor.

   Located on the second floor are Dr. Gordon L. Marsa, who specializes in gastroenterology; Dr. Robert Bridges, a general and vascular surgeon; and Dr. Frederick J. Myers, a general surgeon. The internal medicine group – which includes Drs. Deborah Deoss-Maksoud, Robert Locklear and Janet Pickstock, along with Joyce Wright, a nurse practitioner – will be in Suite 201. The Heart and Vascular Group features Drs. Dan Merrick and Jack Whitaker.

   The third floor features Takoma’s Outpatient Imaging Center, the Takoma Women’s Imaging Center, and Takoma Outpatient Services, which include laboratory, EKG, pre-admission testing, registration and scheduling.

   The Takoma Medical Office Building is a collaborative effort with local physicians and community stakeholders.

Superior Healthcare

     Takoma’s Emergency Center currently leads in patient satisfaction within its 38-hospital system known as Adventist Health System, Sanders said. “We also rate highest in efficiency,” he added. “Both are very important to us. We want our patients to be comfortable while they are being treated in a timely manner.”

   The average turnaround time – from being seen to discharged -- in the Emergency Center is only 1 hour and 50 minutes, Sanders said. “The national average for hospital ERs of similar size is 2 hours and 20 minutes.”

   Takoma’s admission time is 3 hours, while the national average is 3.5 hours, he said.

   “We’re really proud of our times,” Sanders said. “And we intend to make them even quicker with our new customer-focused initiative.”

   This philosophy will provide “a warmer, friendly environment, as well as access to cutting-edge technology,” he said.