North Country Hospital has completed a major expansion of its emergency department, adding four private rooms and enhancing patient privacy and safety. The project, which began in October, was unveiled in a ribbon-cutting ceremony today led by the hospital’s CEO, Thomas Frank.

The new space features four private rooms, each equipped with windows for natural light and the capacity for negative pressure isolation for patients with respiratory or airborne illnesses. The multi-purpose rooms also have cardiac monitors and can be easily converted into safe spaces for patients experiencing mental health crises by simply closing a door.

The expansion includes a spacious decontamination shower with a separate entrance for emergency medical services (EMS), allowing staff to care for patients before they enter the main department. The addition also houses a patient restroom, a separate shower, a storage area, and two offices for the care manager and clinical manager.

The need for the expansion became apparent as the hospital’s previous emergency department, which opened in 2006 with five beds, quickly became overcrowded. The lack of space occasionally led to patients being treated in hallways, compromising their privacy and comfort.

The planning for the expansion began years ago, but faced delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The project required a certificate of need, which was advocated for by the hospital’s administration at the state level.

The project was made possible through the support of generous community donors, the hospital’s foundation, and the board of directors. CEO Thomas Frank played a crucial role in securing approval from the state. The design was created by Lavallee Brensinger Architects and brought to life by H.P. Cummings construction management services

The emergency department team was acknowledged for their resilience and adaptability throughout the construction process, which included decreased capacity and various distractions. The completion of this expansion marks a significant milestone in North Country Hospital’s commitment to providing high-quality, patient-centered care to the community it serves.