Residents and health officials in Richmond Co. have met to discuss plans to upgrade their emergency department and develop an ambulatory care unit.
Officials say the cost of the Strait Richmond Hospital project is roughly $2.3 million.
Kathy Chisholm, the hospital’s site lead, says providing essential services to residents is one of their biggest priorities.
After Tuesday night’s meeting, Chisholm told The Hawk their resources can get stretched pretty thin.
“Unfortunately, we have difficulty accessing beds on our inpatient unit,” she said. “At times, we have inpatients admitted in our emergency department itself, so it gets quite congested.”
Chisholm said they serve an aging population in Richmond Co.
She said that provides some additional challenges for those living on their own and people with accessibility issues, so they hope to retain their visiting physicians and expand that service.
Chisholm said they want to make the ER process more efficient with the ambulatory care unit.
“Right now, they have to go through the emergency department (and) it increases their wait time,” she said. “It makes them vulnerable to picking up other viruses and infection control concerns from other people using the emergency department.”
Joe Shannon, the hospital’s first chair who also led the original fundraising campaign, made a $300,000 donation toward the project.
Chisholm said they have roughly 12,000 visitors per year, and there are times the ER is “way over capacity.”