Valley Medical Center will open eight new operating rooms this summer, the second phase of the hospital’s new surgery center.
Once that phase is done, the surgery center will have 17 operating rooms. The hospital has had 12 operating rooms.
What’s particularly significant about the new operating rooms is their size. All are bigger than the largest of the current operating rooms.
“We can do anything in these rooms,” said hospital administrator Rich Roodman. “They are designed for the future.”
That “anything” includes new surgical techniques and equipment that require space.
Hospital officials took members of the public and the commissioners of Public Hospital District No. 1 on a tour of the rooms this week.
The new surgery center is part of an ongoing $200 million expansion of the hospital that includes a new seven-story tower that will house among other essentials a new emergency room the size of a football field.
Right now, the tower is a big hole easily visible on the hospital campus.
The two-level surgery center is being built at a cost of about $50 million, according to hospital spokeswoman, Dana Vander Houwen. Also included in the first phase was a new hospital lobby.
The hospital’s operating rooms are busy places, where about 13,000 procedures are done a year.
The first phase of the surgery center opened last spring, with nine operating rooms on the third floor. The second phase is on the second floor.
Right now, the hospital is waiting for an essential piece of equipment – elevators – to connect the two floors.
Todd Thomas, the hospital’s director of facilities, said elevator manufacturers can’t keep up with demand because of so much building worldwide.
He’s expecting the elevators to arrive in early July.
The eight new operating rooms are served by a nearby supply room and a pathology lab. Like the floor above, big-screen TVs will help medical personnel keep track of patients and surgeries. Much-needed storage space was included, along with a conference room.
Dean A. Radford can be reached at 425-255-3484, ext. 5050, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.