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NUMC updates Surgery Center

May 17, 2009
Story/photos by Fritz Busch — Journal Staff Writer

A little more than 2 years ago, New Ulm Medical Center (NUMC) began the second and third phase of a renovation and expansion project designed to keep the patient and family experience up to the speed of medical technology improvements.

Increased privacy was another project plus for patients and families.

Improved surgeon and staff efficiency was another reason to do the project that moved the operating rooms and recovery areas closer together.

Article Photos

A recently-completed, $3.5 million, 3-phase expansion and renovation project at New Ulm Medical Center offers patients more privacy, comfort and attractive space for families and staff. Pictured here is the recovery area.

The medical center foundation raised $750,000 while Minneapolis-based Allina Hospitals and Clinics, a non-profit network of hospitals, clinics, and other health care services in Minnesota and western Wisconsin.

The project included a 2,600-square foot addition with 2 new, 575-square foot operating rooms, and remodeling of 4,000 square feet of existing hospital space.

Architects, physicians, staff and patients helped design 3 surgery rooms, a recovery area, private pre- and post operating rooms and a family waiting area.

The Foundation raised $1.2 million of the $8.9 million first phase of the project that began in 2004.

That campaign tripled the size of the hemotherapy department, doubled the size of emergency room areas and added outpatient services space.

Surgical procedures available at NUMC include appendectomies, breast biopsies, gall bladder removal, hysterectomies, C-sections, total knee and hip replacements, tonsillectomies and cataract repairs.

Registered Nurse Carolyn Varland, same-day surgery and post anesthesia care unit (PACU) clinical coordinator talked about how the project improved her department and her own feelings.

"It's really fun coming to work each day," Varland said. "We got lots of really positive patient feedback about it being receptive, homey and user-friendly."

Kitty Hietala, Administrative Assistants at NUMC, said the project provides a more comforting and healing atmosphere for everyone.

Dr. Mario De Sousa, M.D., Orthopedic Surgery, at NUMC, said his patients told him they enjoy the increased privacy in the new same-day surgery facilities.

Karen McClellan, R.N., Operating Room Coordinator, called the project an important improvement.

"Now we have space to bring in equipment we need instead of moving the patient," McClellan said.

New Ulm Medical Center Advisory Board Members for 2009: Chairperson Kathleen Backer, Kathleen Berg, Jerry Dannheim, Jean Eelma, M.D., Barb Fenske, Jackie Finstad, Frani Knowles, M.D., Duane Lambrecht, Greg Thomas, John Wisniewski and DuWayne Witt.



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