LOCK HAVEN - Lock Haven Hospital is undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation that will change how it operates in "many, many ways."
That was one of the things hospital CEO Cindy Segar-Miller told City Council Monday night, as members met at the facility for a work session.
The hospital is undergoing a $3.2 million redesign of its intensive care unit to move it closer to both extended care and regular patient care. The new unit also will move away from "the old, ward-style" appearance, where there is a lowered expectation of privacy, Segar-Miller said.
The 12-bed ICU unit, which includes six critical-care beds and four beds for telemetry patients, should open by April 2009, she said.
Community Health Systems Inc., of Brentwood, Tenn., which owns the for-profit hospital, also is looking to invest $1.6 million to modernize the hospital and do some cosmetic work, including:
- Upgrading the two oldest patient elevators at a cost of $400,000
- Upgrading the boilers next spring
- Air-conditioning, ventilation and electrical work
- Replacing a roof
- Fixing and replacing sidewalks and parking lots
- Adding outdoor signs
- Replacing doors
- A five-year plan with an emphasis on the best way for customers to access services and the best use of space.
"I'm very excited that Community Health Systems has continued to invest significant capital into upgrading the facility in this community," she said. "And I guarantee we will spend every penny of it."
A registered nurse, Segar-Miller believes experience gives her a good perspective on the clinical needs of patients.
Her responsibilities also include oversight of the physical facility and maintaining a health profit margin even as "reimbursements for health-are costs are going lower and lower by the minute."
Councilman William E. Baney asked if the hospital's emphasis on attracting quality staff members will continue in the future.
"There are many more lucrative professions that don't require shift work and weekends," Segar-Miller said.
She said one way to insure the local hospital attracts the best and most professional staff is that it has budgeted $150,000 toward nursing, including increasing salaries and offering referral bonuses.
"You have to remain competitive," she said.
Since she joined Lock Haven Hospital in March, Segar-Miller said she has talked to more than 60 candidates for positions.
"We look for long-term fits," she said, "people who want to be in this beauty and this environment."
"It's a constant thing," said Mayor Richard P. Vilello Jr., a member of the hospital's Community Advisory Board. "The hospital is always recruiting."