Franklin Favorite, originally published on 8/18/2011
Ribbon cutting ceremony is Aug. 22
The Medical Center at Franklin will unveil its $4 million expansion of its surgical unit during a Franklin-Simpson Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting on Monday, Aug. 22 at 2 p.m.
The local hospital’s latest project encompasses 9,700 square feet and includes two state-of-the-art operating suites, an endoscopy suite, a six-bed recovery unit, a central sterile supply area, a staff lounge and men’s and women’s lockerrooms.
A portion of the hospital on the southwest side of the facility was remodeled and expanded to make way for the new surgical unit. The emergency room entrance for the public was not changed; however, the ambulance door to the ER was moved south by about 50 feet and is closer to the helipad.
Tours will be offered following Monday’s ribbon cutting.
The old emergency room and one-bed recovery room was built with the hospital in 1964. Once it’s replaced, Hospital Administrator Clara Sumner said the old surgical ward will likely be turned in to an area where patients can receive fluids, injections, blood transfusions and other procedures on an outpatient basis. Now, patients referred by local physicians to receive those types of procedures have to wait in the emergency room, sometimes for up to 30 minutes, according to Ms. Sumner.
The facility would be totally remodeled if and when the outdated surgical ward is refurbished. In addition, flooring is also being replaced throughout the entire hospital.
Finishing touches were being placed on the sparkling surgical unit that features all of the new technologies as well as the flooring Monday, and it’s expected the new unit will be ready for its first surgery on Sept. 1.
In January, The Medical Center at Franklin welcomed its first full-time general surgeon, Dr. William Daniel, who formally practiced at Graves Gilbert Clinic in Bowling Green. In addition, a general surgeon with Bluegrass Surgical Associates in Bowling Green has been practicing in Franklin as part of the Medical Center’s Specialty Clinics for the past 12 years.
Ms. Sumner said minor surgeries are being performed at The Medical Center at Franklin, but the improvements to the surgical unit and addition of a full-time surgeon will allow The Medical Center at Franklin to handle more complex procedures.
“We will be able to do just about anything that the physician feels comfortable doing,” Ms. Sumner said. “Technology-wise, this new surgical unit is one of the most modern in the country and capable of performing just about any procedure.”
This marks the third major expansion to the Franklin hospital in the past five years and will elevate the total square footage to 87,000 square feet.
In 2007, The Medical Center opened a 25-bed patient wing as part of a $5 million expansion. In 2010, a $3.5 million two-story Medical Pavilion was completed.
Since Commonwealth Health Corp., the parent company of The Medical Center at Franklin, purchased the 47-year-old hospital in April 2000, the Bowling Green-based company has invested over $21 million in expanding and upgrading the services offered.
Most of the improvements are designed to make diagnostic, surgical and other outpatient or inpatient procedures more convenient for Franklin residents and others in surrounding counties, Ms. Sumner said.