New campus means big changes for Vidalia's hospital - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

New campus means big changes for Vidalia's hospital

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By Dal Cannady - bio | email

VIDALIA, GA (WTOC) - Construction crews worked Wednesday on the few finishing touches that remain on the new Meadows Regional Hospital. Construction started 18 months ago, but planning and design started nearly three years ago.

"It's a lot like building a house," described Meadows CEO Alan Kent. "Parts of it seem to move quickly so that you think you'll be far ahead of schedule. Then rains come and slows things down."

Despite some weather delays, they'll open close to their target date. Kent said the $55 million building replaces a 50-year-old building across town that's been expanded and remodeled over the years. He said the new building will reflect how parts of modern medicine work together.

"Radiology being beside the ER, the operating room next to labor and delivery, the lab and other highly accessible patient areas right inside the front door," Kent noted.

Those designs, he believed, will make doctors and staffers more efficient and that will reflect in patient care.

The new Meadows also includes a larger emergency room, including cardiac-specific stations, as well as top of the line MRI's and CT scanners and patient rooms with larger windows and wider hallways.

To Kent, the creature comforts are more than just window dressing. He said patients are still customers and if they feel more comfortable, they'll come back again.

"Every room is a private room and every room has a fold out sleeper sofa. No more sleeping on two chairs put together or on cots," he assured.

Kent doesn't wish for anyone in the community to get sick. But if they do, he hopes they stay close to home. Meadows' 500 hospital employees will open the new campus in early February.

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