Raymond Ramos, who headed the hospital when the renovations began, said, “We have completed phases 1 through 3, so now we are in phase 4.”
Included in these first three phases were improvements to the triage room, updates to the individual rooms inside the emergency room, addition of security cameras and a new nurse call system.
Of course, along with these and many more improvements came an update to the overall look of the area which included new flooring and new paint.
“It is looking very nice,” Ramos told county commissioners during their meeting on Monday.
Next is the final phase—updating the admitting and waiting area for patients.
Currently, he said, nurses and staff are only able to admit one person at a time, which can slow the process during busy times in the ER.
The plans call for the addition of a second admitting area. He added that both would be built to ensure patient privacy and compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
“The waiting area will be renovated as well,” he told the court.
When the emergency room was first built, it was meant to handle about 50 or so patients a day. But times have changed. The town has grown. That number is up to 60 and 70 patients, which is placing a strain on resources.
The influx of people into the area, mostly because of the Eagle Ford Shale activity, has increased the amount of traffic coming through the hospital doors.
Costing between $850,000 to 900,000, the renovation will help the hospital deal with the estimated 14 percent increase in emergency room patients.
Completion of the project is expect within the next three to four weeks.
“Hopefully, come mid to late February, everything will be complete,” he said.
When the project is complete, it isn’t Ramos who will be in charge of the hospital.
Nathan Tudor has replaced Ramos, who is headed to Corpus Christi as executive director for both Christus Spohn Shoreline and Memorial.
“I still live in Skidmore, so I am still a Bee County resident, but I am commuting back to Memorial and heading the operations there,” he told commissioners. “Nathan is very familiar with the area. He used to run Kaiser a few years ago.”
He served as CEO at Otto Kaiser Memorial Hospital from September 2010 until December 2012.
From there he headed to DeRidder, La., where he served as CEO at Beauregard Memorial Hospital.
“He just never got into the Louisiana rhythm out there and wanted to come back to Texas.”
Tudor praised Ramos for his work at the hospital and the staff there.
“I would like to say, ‘Raymond paved the way,’” he said. “I feel very fortunate; I see a lot of talent and opportunities for growth.”
With two children and another due in March, Tudor says he hopes to be in the area for an extended period of time.
“We are close enough to my in-laws for Sunday supper, but they cannot drop in for lunch anytime,” he said jokingly.
Commissioner Dennis DeWitt expressed his appreciation to Ramos and welcomed Tudor.
“We have a friend in higher places. That is the way we look at that,” he said, referring to Ramos leaving.
Ramos responded, “That is what I told my team. I am leaving, but I am still part of Spohn. I know firsthand the day-to-day operations of the hospital. It just gives us a little more power to get things done.”
County Judge David Silva added, “You are closer to the CEO.”
Jason Collins is the editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 121, or at editor@mySouTex.com.