TMH soon to get surgery

Hospital officials consider options for renovations, relocation

The Memorial Hospital (TMH) is under examination and will soon to go under the knife. In the coming days hospital officials will be reviewing its options for moving into new facility, and educating the community on where and how TMH will move as decisions are made and approved.

"Over the next month, the community is going to start to hear a lot about the potential of The Memorial Hospital building a new facility," said Heather Houseworth, TMH community relations director. "Quorum Health Resources [the company that] manages the hospital; they started looking at [this situation] about four years ago, and they had some architects come in with just a generic game plan."

That game plan was applied to TMH's situation, and the pieces are beginning to come together. The hospital has already determined the best solution is to build a new facility, and has purchased land surrounding to the hospital to facilitate that option.

It is not known how much the hospital has spent on land purchases.

Now, the hospital is trying to acquire the School Administration Building, 775 Yampa Ave., to house its business and management offices. An appraisal of the administration building is being conducted.

If this plan falls through, Memorial Hospital will have to reconsider how to house management offices; one option is to make the new facility larger, but that would require major architectural adjustments. Also, the questions of where to put the helicopter landing pad, whether or not to place the ambulance bay off-site, and the actual lay out of parking and the street access to the parking lot and various entrances have to be decided. That still leaves the actual design and layout of the new hospital to be designated.

"What we would like to do, if we do acquire the [School Administration] building, is to incorporate that architectural style into our new facility ... and make a nice icon for the Craig community," said Houseworth.

Under this plan, the School Administration Building and the new hospital would create a modern, highly-sophisticated complex that would service every medical need of the community.

"Our next step is to decide if we're going to acquire the building, and then we would design how we are going to finance it," Houseworth said.

If the hospital turns to the community for funding, a vote is possibility this November.

The hospital is creating building committee to decide these issues. The committee would consist of Hospital Board members, department heads, hospital Administrator Randy Phelps and Houseworth. The committee will meet next week and begin the intricate decision processes.

No matter what the final outlook, the new hospital won't be complete for two years. Hospital officials are considering renovating the Emergency Room in the interim, so The Memorial Hospital can function effectively until the new facility is ready to service the community.

"From now until November will be an intensive marketing campaign that the people will be very informed about. Everything from town meetings, to meetings with the people that participated in our focus groups, to educational materials, to literature, to articles in the paper there will be all kinds of information helping the public be part of our process, step by step," Houseworth said.

Soon brochures, pamphlets, and question-and-answer forms will be distributed into the community, and the final shape of the new hospital will begin to come into focus.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.