A renovated state-of-the-art East Texas Medical Center Henderson will be on display for area residents to see this weekend.
A community celebration and dedication event is scheduled for 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday at the medical facility, 300 Wilson St.
“We are inviting the public to join us as we celebrate the completion of the hospital renovation project — a major step in fostering ETMC’s goal of providing the highest quality healthcare to the people of Henderson and Rusk County,” Mark Leitner, administrator of ETMC Henderson, said in a news release.
He added, “The facilities are up to the standards (people) would experience in Tyler or Longview. Now we have facilities to provide the level of care they would receive there … With the recent addition of a pediatrician, we’re covering almost everything on a primary basis.”
Sunday’s event will feature a ribbon cutting ceremony at 1 p.m., including a proclamation from Henderson Mayor John W. “Buzz” Fullen, along with several representatives who will talk about the renovation project.
That will be followed by refreshments, and there will be maps people can follow to give themselves a tour of the facility.
ETMC team members and physicians also will be on hand to speak to guests about the services available and introduce them to the capabilities in the hospital, Leitner said. There also will be giveaways and children’s activities, such as face painting, as well as tours of ETMC’s Air 1 helicopter. Expectant mothers also will be able to enter a drawing for a basket of baby gifts during a “baby shower” at The BirthPlace at ETMC Henderson.
Hospital board members also will be recognized during the event, along with others who have been involved in the hospital’s development, according to a news release. Musical entertainment is planned.
“This celebration represents the partnership between ETMC and the community that has resulted in a tremendous ‘new’ hospital that serves as a safety net for our entire county,” Leitner said in a news release. “In addition to advancing health services, ETMC Henderson is vital to the economic development of Henderson and Rusk County, as it supplies jobs and helps attract new business and residents. It will be a wonderful day that reflects our community’s spirit.”
Leitner said the major components of construction involved renovation and the expansion of the emergency room, which went from about eight beds to 12 and also includes two major trauma rooms. The square footage on the emergency room likely doubled.
“Previously, the emergency room we were in hadn’t changed much since the 1980s,” Leitner said. This one “separates the walk-in entry from the ambulance entry.”
The second major component of the project is the main entry to the hospital.
“Basically, we reoriented the hospital to where we have the main entrance off of High Street instead of Wilson. Our main entry serves as a main entry to the hospital, a main entry to our physicians clinic and a main entry to the emergency room,” Leitner said.
He said that means ETMC can secure the facility after hours while still allowing people to access the emergency room.
The lobby also was a big part of the renovations.
The lobby is nice and spacious, Leitner said, and overlooking the lobby is the new physicians clinic, which now accommodates up to eight providers. It currently houses two obstetrician/gynecologists, one women’s nurse pediatrician, two family practitioners, an internist and a pediatrician.
“The general philosophy is that the emergency room is the one service that more people than not come into contact with within the hospital,” Leitner said. “The idea was that it was something that needed to be addressed and was a place where the community would come in and feel confident in the manner they’re receiving care. … People would look at this and say ‘This is equally impressive to what I might experience in Tyler or Longview.’”