Salem hospital recognizes time and new space

SALEM – A Salem Regional Medical Center expansion which started as an idea to better serve patients is now ready for patients to move in.

“We have laid the foundation for our future here, and are now coming together to dedicate this new tower to fulfill our mission to serve, to care and to heal,” SRMC President/CEO Anita Hackstedde, M.D. said.

Hackstedde and SRMC Board of Directors Chairman Derek Hiscox both spoke during the dedication ceremony held Sunday for the $42.5 million patient room tower featuring 87 private patient rooms spread over three floors. The new tower also includes a two-level enclosed parking deck and a ground floor lobby concourse and first-floor walkway which connects to the hospital’s main entrance.

Besides the main lobby desk, the concourse will include seating areas, the new location for the Look Nook Gift Shop, the Perks Cafe, and a meeting room, along with an entrance to the free parking deck.

The private rooms will include a family area with a sleeper sofa for those wanting to stay overnight with their family member, wireless Internet access, a high-definition flat screen television, individual temperature control and a new style of patient call remote control.

The dedication included a blessing by Pastor Robert Rowley, SRMC director of pastoral care, two songs performed by the SRMC Youth Choir comprised of students from area schools, and a ribbon-cutting along the railing of the first floor walkway overlooking the concourse by SRMC board members and staff members and representatives of Skanska, the builder of the tower.

The dedication was followed by the burial outside of the 100th Anniversary Time Capsule, representing the history of the hospital which celebrated its centennial in September.

While addressing the crowd along the concourse and those watching a simulcast in the cafeteria, Hiscox referred to the dedication held on Sept. 13, 1913 when the hospital first opened its doors in a celebration with members of the community.

“The dedication of our new patient tower enables us to move forward into a new era of service delivery, as well as provide innovative approaches to patient care. Our new patient tower was designed to bring a state-of-the-art facility to our region, and by doing so, improve the overall quality of life for the people of the communities we serve,” he said.

In her remarks, Hackstedde noted the big move to transfer patients into the new 169,700-square foot tower will begin Feb. 4. She talked about how the rooms have been designed “to create an environment of support and healing.”

“What will bring this building to life and make the most impact is our people. We have an incredible team of dedicated employees, physicians, board members and volunteers, who exemplify our core values by caring for our patients every day,” she said.

The tower was first unveiled Thursday during a Friends and Family Day for employees, board members and those who worked on the project. On Saturday, the doors were opened to the public, the people who will fill the facility, with self-guided tours, knowledgeable employees to answer questions, children’s activities, a photo booth, refreshments and lots of free gifts along the way.

About 1,100 people visited those days, with even more expected to tour after the dedication Sunday, which was very well-attended. The parking deck was not open for the open houses, with officials expected to announce the opening of the parking deck at a later date.

Of special note during the dedication, one of the songs performed by the student choir members was titled “Stories of Love,” with the lyrics penned by Kandace Cleland especially for ceremony. The song was based on a song titled “I Give My Song” with words and music by Joseph Martin.