|Trinity Standard - Local News
Stories Added - April 2010
Copyright 2010 - Polk County Publishing Company
Hospital expansion now underway
Trinity Standard -
TRINITY – Calling it an “exciting day in the life of our hospital,” officials with East Texas Medical Center and the Trinity Memorial Hospital District broke ground Monday, April 26, on a $7.4 million expansion project. The project will include a new, 15-room patient wing, a new lobby and registration area, new kitchen and cafeteria and a shell space for a future surgical area. In addition, canopies will be built to cover both the hospital’s new main entrance as well as the emergency entrance for ambulances. Additional parking also is planned. Larry King, president of the TMHD board, noted before the official ceremony that through their partnership with the East Texas Medical Center Regional Healthcare System, the cost of building the new facilities has been covered before the first spade of dirt was turned. “The hospital district will not owe a single dime for this project and once it is built, it will be the property of the district’s taxpayers,” he said. While ETMC is handling the construction, money to pay for the work was generated by TMHD through contributions to Medicare’s Upper Payment Limit (UPL) program. For every $100,000 the hospital contributed to the federal program, the UPL system added $160,000 and returned $260,000 to ETMC to cover the cost of indigent medical care. These UPL funds in turn freed other ETMC funds that could be used to cover the cost of construction. Over the past year, the TMHD board has contributed $1.5 million to the UPL program specifically aimed at helping cover the cost of the current expansion program. The most recent contribution came in February for $400,000 to help cover the cost of adding the kitchen and cafeteria to the expansion plan. During Monday’s groundbreaking ceremony, Elmer G. Ellis, president/CEO of the ETMC Regional Healthcare System, praised the partnership that has developed with the TMHD board. Since leasing the local hospital 13 years ago, Ellis said it has been the goal of ETMC to improve the facility and patient care. “ETMC’s mission centers on advancing healthcare to the highest level possible in the home communities we serve,” Ellis said. “This groundbreaking is rewarding, as we see another dream on its way to becoming a reality for ETMC-Trinity and all the people it serves. We are proud to recognize the benefits of the community partnership that make this expansion possible,” he added. ETMC-Trinity Administrator Warren Robicheaux noted when the project is completed, the hospital will be better equipped to serve the people of the Trinity area. “The highlight of our construction project will be a new patient care wing, offering 15 private, comfortable patient rooms – each with its own bath. “Each room is designed for efficient nursing care, and to provide a comfortable, attractive space for our patients and their families during their hospital stay,” he said. Present for the groundbreaking were the members of the TMHD board, including King, Carlyn Bluis, Jim Rippy, Jerry Russ, Lois Saldana, Cheryl Spearman, Travis Star, Dave Ward and Marguery Williams. Members of the ETMC-Trinity board also were on hand and include Ellis, King, Jerry Massey, Byron Hale, Terry Cutler, Jessica Parish and Pam Weaver. The ETMC Regional Healthcare System is East Texas’ largest healthcare system and includes hospital in Athens, Carthage, Clarksville, Crockett, Fairfield, Gilmer, Henderson, Jacksonville, Mount Vernon, Pittsburg, Quitman, Trinity and Tyler.