Fifteen years after Liberty Regional Medical Center held a grand opening for its brand-new facility at 462 E.G. Miles Parkway, the hospital celebrated again, this time cutting the ribbon on LRMC’s expanded emergency room Wednesday.
“Here we grow again,” said State Sen. Buddy Carter, R-Pooler, who joined hospital staff, county and city officials and business leaders for the grand opening. “This takes foresight, this takes planning.”
Carter said in order for economic growth to occur in a community, quality health care must be provided. He said LRMC is doing just that for Liberty County.
“It’s neat to have a facility like this in a small town,” LRMC hospital authority Chairman Jon Long said. He said he was born and raised here, and although Hinesville is not as small as it once was, it has retained its small-town feel.
County Commission Chairman Donald Lovette, who is director of laboratory services at Liberty Regional Medical Center, congratulated hospital officials on “a job well done.” Lovette said a woman stopped him recently to express her pride over the hospital’s growth.
“She said, ‘Soon I won’t have to go to Savannah for anything!’” Lovette said.
Chris Blackwell, project manager with Brasfield & Gorrie General Contractors, Georgia Healthcare Division, said the hospital has reached a milestone.
“Ten months ago, we broke ground (on the expansion),” Blackwell said. “We have three more months of renovation to go.”
The hospital laboratory and imaging center still are undergoing renovations and are scheduled for completion in December, according to hospital officials.
The $4.5 million emergency-department expansion was part of the hospital’s $8.6 million remodeling project. The new and improved emergency room is 14,000 square feet — three times the floor space of the old ER and double the emergency room’s former bed capacity, according to hospital CFO Sam Johnson.
The expansion added three state-of-the-art trauma rooms and a fast-track area. The fast-track area allows LRMC personnel to better evaluate patients and more quickly treat those who are not critically injured or sick, explained Sandy Wells, a registered nurse who works in cardiac rehabilitation. Wells was one of several hospital staffers who gave guests a guided tour of the expanded facility immediately following the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Improvements also were made to the obstetrics department, with the addition of a C-section operating room and two OB triage rooms, hospital officials said.