Hamilton hospital looks to future with operating room expansion - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Hamilton hospital looks to future with operating room expansion

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HAMILTON - Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital administrators say a new, $15 million operating room expansion is one of the final pieces to a master plan that’s taken years to develop.

And as Dennis Bragg reports, the combined projects will not only create new jobs and provide new services, but positions the hospital for long-term success in a changing healthcare market.

When the State Commerce Department announced the successful sale of $15 million in bonds for the latest Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital expansion right after Christmas, it marked the start of one of the last major projects for the Hamilton hospital.

“There will be three new ORs. And the reason we built the three new ORs is that the original hospital, when it was built back in 1974, was a state of the art," said MDMH Chief Executive Officer John Bartos. “The technology and the equipment we have, our space is too small. And also our recovery area, we don’t have enough area.”

Those new services are fields that weren’t envisioned when the “new” hospital was constructed in the 70s include neurosurgery and orthopedic work such as hip and shoulder surgeries.

Additionally, a new “C section” facility will complement the new birthing areas and maternity care.

“And then this positions the hospital for the next 30 to 40 years meeting the needs of the community," Bartos said. "And also with the new ORs we’ll be able to recruit other specialists who would like to have new OR accommodations.”

Contractors are wasting no time getting this project underway. Site preparation is already well advanced and the plans are to have the full OR facility open 14 months from now.

In fact, the C section facility should be complete later this year. And its not just the economic boost from the new hospital facilities. The construction will create 90 additional jobs for the duration of the project.

“It’s taken us a good 18 years to develop what we have, and this is one of the last projects in our Facility Master Plan," Bartos said. "And we’re positioning ourselves so this hospital will be able to be here for the next 30-to-40 years and meet the needs of the community.”

First Interstate Bank purchased all of the bonds for the 20 year issue.

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