“Emergency room doors are really the front door of the hospital,” says Don Henderson, president & CEO of Central Florida Health, “We are really pleased to have such a state-of-the-art facility to welcome our community.”
Some 200 board members, city and elected officials, guests and hospital staff were on hand to watch the official ribbon-cutting of the expanded Emergency Department at Leesburg Regional Medical Center recently. Guests then toured the newest addition before it opens for business next week. The celebration continued with music and hot hor d’euvres.
“The project’s costs are close to $30 million with the LRMC Foundation donating $10 million toward that,” says Josh Gonzales, treasurer for the foundation. “Of that, the family of F. Browne Gregg and his wife, Juanita, were the largest contributors.”
Randy Mason, grandson of the Greggs, spoke of his “Granddad and Grammy” with deep affection. He related how proud they would be knowing they were still helping their community even though his grandmother died in 2000, and his grandfather in 2014.
“My grandad told me that if you work to accomplish something in life, you will,” he spoke in the middle of the beautiful two-story, light-filled atrium in the new expansion.
“Thirteen years ago, when I came here, they promised me it would be built in two years,” says Dr. Navin Reddy, medical director of Emergency Services, to everyone’s amusement. “But the new facility will not change our quality of care, because we have always had class care. Now, we have a world-class home in which to serve our community.”
“We exist to improve the quality of care in the community,” says Ted Williams, executive director of the LRMC Foundation.
The new expansion adds 25,000 square feet to the Emergency Department, which now offers 48 beds, and several trauma-sized, newly-equipped rooms. The new rooms are all private rooms with doors, rather than gurneys with curtains between areas. A second floor is designed to add 24 additional medical/surgical beds in the future, which will aid quicker admissions, especially for cardiac patients.
“Patients will be more comfortable and have shorter wait times,” says Joshua Fleming, vice-president, chief clinical officer, and site administrator for LRMC.
The innovative triage rooms and nursing stations all have antimicrobial wall and counter surfaces. The trauma-sized rooms are equipped to treat critically-ill patients. A Fast Track Unit will accommodate pediatric patients. Metal detectors are being added at the main entrance for additional patient security.
Last year, the hospital served around 47,000 emergency room visitors.
“We’ve doubled the size of the Emergency Department by connecting it to the existing one,” says Frank Faust, director of marketing for the hospital. “The new facility has greatly increased the footprint of the entire hospital. “
Director of the Emergency Department, Steven Moss, RN, says, “[This new facility] means everything, because it means we will be able to give back to the community in better ways, and that is our mission.”
Holding the ribbon at each end was Miss Leesburg 2017-2018, Eva Henderson, 17, and her sister, Teen Miss Leesburg 2017-2018, Chloe Henderson, 15, no relation to Don Henderson.
Central Florida Health is the nonprofit parent of Leesburg Regional Medical Center (LRMC) and The Villages Regional Hospital (TVRH).