John Martinez, a Tech 3 with The Memorial Hospital’s maintenance department, explains the ongoing remodel at TMH Medical Clinic on Friday morning. Crews are transforming portions of the clinic, which once housed the hospital, into a new pediatric unit.

Photo by Bridget Manley

John Martinez, a Tech 3 with The Memorial Hospital’s maintenance department, explains the ongoing remodel at TMH Medical Clinic on Friday morning. Crews are transforming portions of the clinic, which once housed the hospital, into a new pediatric unit.

Remodel underway at TMH Medical Clinic to make way for pediatrics

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A long room where patients were once wheeled in for day surgery was nearly empty Friday morning.

A small stack of Bibles sat on the windowsill, remnants from when the building, now The Memorial Hospital Medical Clinic, served as the hospital before a new facility was built at 750 Hospital Loop.

But the empty room is taking on new life.

This summer, it will become the main waiting and check-in area for a new pediatric unit.

Surrounding rooms and hallways are undergoing a similar transformation, thanks largely to TMH maintenance staff.

“We’re doing most of the remodeling internally,” said Jennifer Riley, TMH chief of organizational excellence.

In total, $125,000 is set aside for the project, and that amount includes remodeling, furnishings and equipment, she said.

The money was initially earmarked to move TMH Rehabilitation Center from Centennial Mall to the clinic.

But when Chief Executive Officer George Rohrich opened bids in early February, the lowest of them was $55,000 over budget.

About a month later, hospital officials learned Dr. Kristie Yarmer had agreed to come to Craig.

“It just worked out kind of conveniently that way,” Rohrich said.

The Rehabilitation Center move is probably off the table for this year, he said. In the meantime, remodeling at the clinic is on track to be completed by the time Yarmer arrives in July, Riley said.

On Friday, TMH crews were at work preparing the room that will be Yarmer’s office.

The new pediatric wing also will be home to her colleague and fellow pediatrician Dr. Kelly Follett when she comes to the clinic in August 2013.

The unit’s layout also includes a separate waiting room for parents with newborns.

“Newborns are generally healthy and also susceptible to a lot of germs,” Riley said. “You don’t want to mix any of your sick kiddos … with the newborns” in the waiting room.

So far, TMH has received good vibes from the community about its new pediatric services.

“A number of parents have said that they would be happy to be able to see a pediatrician here and not have to make a drive either to Hayden or to Steamboat,” Riley said. “By and large, the feedback’s been very positive.”

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