WRMC expansion brings future growth to the economy - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

WRMC expansion brings future growth to the economy

By Amanda Hanson - bio | email feedback

BATESVILLE, AR (KAIT) - Excitement is stirring at the White River Medical Center. The hospital recently announced a Ground Floor Renovation and Patient Tower Expansion Project. With the increased number of patients seeking care at the facility, the growth will help to provide even better care.

The project is expected to cost nearly 35-million dollars. The money will come from several different sources, including a $540,000 grant the hospital recently received from the Independence County Economic Development Foundation. It's growth that will benefit patient care and the local economy.

"I've been here 20 years, and this will be a largest expansion I've seen," says Gary L. Bebow, Administrator/CEO of White River Health System.

The White River Medical Center in Batesville recently announced their Ground Floor Renovation and Patient Tower Expansion. Bebow says the project was driven by patient volume.

"We need more room. There's often times now where patients are being held in the Emergency Department or other places in the hospital," says Bebow.

The four-story Patient Tower will add 60 additional patient rooms. Renovations will also be made to the patient and visitor support services. A few of the areas include the cafeteria, registration area, and the way people come in for same-day care, separating the emergency from the non-emergency.

"It will not only increase capacity, but make it friendlier for people that come here," says Bebow, and will be designed to provide the best quality care to patients.

"When we went through the design phase, we went to the hospitals that were the most recent ones built in the whole country using the most up-to-date, modern way to provide direct patient care," says Bebow.  Designed with nursing units stationed so that nurses will have quick access to patient care.

The hospital growth will also bring more jobs. Bebow projects more than 280 jobs will be generated over the five years after construction

"I'm real proud of that. We've made a commitment to our employee and this community," says Bebow

Bebow hopes to break ground on the project this coming spring, and says it will take up to 24 months to complete.

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