Perry Hospital completes renovations

lmorris@macon.comFebruary 15, 2014 

PERRY -- Over the past two years, Perry Hospital has undergone a $2.8 million expansion that adds more services, modernizes the hospital and improves overall efficiency.

From the outside, one of the most noticeable changes is a covered driveway at the entrance.

“It was really dated (with) 50-year-old architecture and just not friendly from the standpoint of aesthetics, for one thing,” said David Campbell, the hospital’s administrator. “And it didn’t have much of a cover for loading and unloading. It was pretty bad.”

The hospital’s other changes include adding a wing of private patient rooms and renovating its existing wing of semi-private rooms into private rooms. The end result is the same number of beds -- 39 -- but they’re all in private rooms.

“With the privacy laws and risk of infections -- and people just didn’t like it -- this has been a really nice thing,” Campbell said.

Four of the 39 rooms are dedicated to the hospital’s intensive care unit, he said. Additionally, six beds are leased out to Heart of Georgia Hospice for inpatient hospice.

Other changes include new physician’s lounge, which they can use for dictation.

“They can have a little bit of quiet time,” Campbell said.

Among the other changes are two new nurses’ stations, which is more convenient for workers who can more efficiently attend to patients. And the same-day service registration and waiting area was moved closer to where lab and radiology work is done.

“It’s been a great benefit to the patient,” Campbell said.

Master gardeners from the community, a local high school FFA group and other volunteers contributed to a “healing garden” created outside a new conference room, he said.

“It’s beautiful in the spring and summer,” he said.

The first of the renovations began in spring 2012, and the work was completed last month.

The hospital’s additions are significant, said Angie Gheesling, executive director of the Development Authority of Houston County.

“In a time when hospitals are closing their doors in record numbers, to have a hospital expand and make improvements in Houston County is something to take note of,” Gheesling said.

Stacy Campbell, president and CEO of the Perry Chamber of Commerce, agreed.

“Quality health care is imperative for the economic viability in a community,” Campbell said. “We are extremely blessed to have a facility that offers the quality care that Perry Hospital does for the city of Perry, Houston County and Middle Georgia.”

The hospital has caught the attention of others and has garnered a number of awards over the years, including:

• Top Performer on Key Quality Measures, from The Joint Commission, which accredits and certifies health care organizations and program in the U.S., 2011 and 2012.

• Pulmonary Care Excellence Award, from Health Grades Inc., 2012.

• Path to Excellence Award for most improved hospital with fewer than 100 beds, from the National Research Corp., 2012.

• VHA GA Leadership Award, first place in 2012 for hospitals with one to 125 beds, from VHA GA Inc.

• Top Small Hospital, from Georgia Trend magazine, 2012.

• Patient Safety Leadership Circle, from Georgia Hospital Association, 2013.

Hospital important to community, economic development

Perry Mayor Jimmy Faircloth said the hospital means “an awful lot” to the community.

“The quality of heath care is no longer a given or something that is assumed,” Faircloth said. “It’s only in a community if that community takes strides to make it happen. ... For Perry, it’s a godsend. We don’t have to drive very far to have the quality health care that everybody wants.”

Perry Hospital, which has 200 employees, is part of Houston Healthcare and is the smaller of two hospitals in Houston County. Both Perry Hospital and Houston Medical Center in Warner Robins are fully accredited acute care facilities managed by the Hospital Authority of Houston County.

“(Perry Hospital) is not just a small hospital, even though it may be in size, but it’s backed by the authority,” Faircloth said.

This means Perry Hospital has access “to quite a bit of medical care” if needed from Houston Medical Center, Faircloth said.

“So within the same county you have the same quality of heath care that’s available to the (residents) of Perry and visitors we have, plus industries and commercial businesses,” he said.

Gheesling said prospective companies look at a lot of different factors when considering a new location.

“Access to health care will remain a leading factor, especially when communities reach the elimination stage (by a prospective company),” she said. “Companies not only need readily accessible health care facilities, they need to be ensured of quality care for their employees. Many companies find it necessary to be no more than a certain distance to the nearest hospital from their prospective location.”

The development authority’s largest industrial site is in Perry, Gheesling said.

“To have quick access to a superior hospital is definitely a bonus and a rarity,” she said.

To contact writer Linda S. Morris, call 744-4223.

History of Perry Hospital

1964:

Houston County voters approve a $900,000 bond issue for construction of a 71-bed addition to the Houston County Hospital in Warner Robins and to build a new hospital in Perry.

1967:

With funds from the bond issue, along with matching state and federal funds, construction begins on the new Perry-Houston County Hospital at a cost of $1.05 million on 20 acres on Morningside Drive in Perry.

1969:

The new Perry-Houston County Hospital opens as a 45-bed acute care hospital with nine bassinets in the nursery. On opening day, the hospital has four patients, including one mother and new baby. The hospital employs 70 people.

1980s:

Perry-Houston County Hospital is renamed Perry Hospital and adds a laboratory building, new emergency department, intensive care unit and physical therapy/respiratory therapy services.

1996:

Perry Hospital completes construction of the Family Beginnings Maternity Center, featuring six birthing suites and newborn nursery, along with a new Outpatient Surgery Center.

1997:

Perry Hospital relocates its laboratory to inside the hospital and expands the radiology area and medical staff library. The former laboratory building is renovated for physician office space.

2003:

Perry Hospital’s Family Beginnings Maternity Center closes, and maternity services are relocated to The Women’s Center at Houston Medical Center.

2004:

Heart of Georgia Hospice opens a six-bed inpatient and palliative care unit in the former Family Beginnings Maternity Center area at Perry Hospital.

2007:

Perry Hospital opens its newly renovated CT suite, which includes 16 multi-slice technology with 3D image reconstruction.

2009:

Perry Hospital begins offering electronic intensive care and completes an expansion and renovation to its cafeteria.

2010:

Perry Hospital completes an expansion and equipment upgrade to its radiology area to include a renovated mammography suite and digital mammography. It also completes construction of its new dining/conference room in preparation for the renovation of the medical library and laboratory expansion.

2011:

Perry Hospital completes renovation of the former medical library into a new same-day services outpatient registration area and an expansion to the laboratory.

2012:

Perry Hospital renovates its front entrance to provide a lighted canopy to protect patients and visitors from inclement weather, and to replace the sidewalk, driveway and landscaping.

Perry Hospital breaks ground on a new nine-bed expansion to eliminate all semi-private patient rooms. Costing $2.8 million, the expansion adds 5,074 square feet to Perry Hospital, which will include nine new patient rooms, a nurse’s station and transcription rooms for physicians.

2014:

The renovation work at Perry Hospital is completed.

SOURCE: Houston Healthcare

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