Shelby Baptist adds new wings

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Shelby Baptist Medical Center celebrated the opening of a new women&8217;s center and emergency department last week.

The hospital debuted both facilities with a community ribbon-cutting and open house on Tuesday, July 18.

The new multi-million dollar emergency department relocates Shelby&8217;s emergency entrance to the front of the hospital. The project should result in better patient service and convenience, according to hospital officials.

&8220;It is often said that the emergency department is the &8216;front door&8217; of the hospital,&8221; said Dr. Everitt Simmons, Shelby Baptist emergency director. &8220;Our goal is for those who walk through the doors of the news ED to enter a comfortable, faith-based, caring environment which offers privacy, state-of-the-art technology and quality caregivers to patients and families during their time of emergent medical need.&8221;

Shelby&8217;s new ED is almost double the size of the current emergency department, which is one of Alabama&8217;s busiest, treating 45,000 patients a year.

The hospital&8217;s new ED was designed specifically for the critical and unique needs of emergency patients and their families, according to Simmons. Greater patient privacy and comfort was considered in the design, which offers additional private exam rooms.

Other changes include a larger, &8220;hotel-like&8221; emergency entrance and waiting area for family and visitors and a new registration area, family consultation area and ambulance entrance.

The new area also has seven trauma bays, two of which can be accessed from outside the facility in the event of a chemical or biohazard contamination.

&8220;The emergency department at Shelby Baptist is one of the busiest in the state. We have had a critical need for expansion for a long time,&8221; said David C. Wilson, Shelby Baptist president.

The hospital also showcased the expanded women&8217;s center, which brings the total number of birthing rooms at Shelby Baptist to 14. The well baby nursery, nursing stations and waiting area have also been redesigned.

&8220;Many couples are deciding to start their families in Shelby County&8217;s only hospital we recognized the need for expanding an advanced women&8217;s health care facility,&8221; said Wilson.

&8220;As our community continues to grow, we knew we had to grow with it,&8221; said Wilson.

Wilson said the two renovations are just the first part of a multi-year plan to grow with Shelby County&8217;s booming population.

&8220;The expansion of our ED and building of our new women&8217;s center are part of the first phase of a multi-year master plan to continually improve our services and facilities for the benefit of the community.&8221;