UPDATE 10/4/12 @ 6 p.m.
MADISON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- One local community has over 30 million reasons to celebrate.
Boone Memorial Hospital just got word it's getting that cash to build a new facility. It's a case of if you build it, they will stay.
Delores Cook is keeping vigil over her ailing husband.
“He doesn't seem to be getting any better, which is breaking my heart,” said Mrs. Cook.
Dennis Cook was once a strong and vibrant man. Now, he's fighting for his life here at Boone Memorial Hospital and Mrs. Cook says she wouldn't have him anywhere else.
“Compassion when someone is sick is paramount and I can truly say these people have compassion,” said Mrs. Cook.
“There is a need to replace this building because of inadequate space, inadequate plumbing, inadequate wiring. I believe this building would not pass code in five years and be shut down,” said Tommy Mullins.
Mr. Mullins has been the CEO at Boone Memorial for 48 years. He took over shortly after this building opened in 1964 and has seen this cramped and outdated space wear out its welcome.
“Tiles were popular in the hallway because were easy to fix and easy to clean,” said Mr. Mullins.
That's why he's so excited to know that a new, much larger facility will soon become reality with the recent approval of a $31 million federal loan.
“The old building will be torn down and made into a parking lot and the new building will go up next to it,” said Mr. Mullins.
“Every patient room will be a private room, will be patient friendly and family friendly. We're going from 40,000 square foot to 78,000,” said Mr. Mullins.
Dr. Jennifer Hensley has worked here tending to patients for eight years. She doesn't have to look far to see the benefits new facilities and equipment will bring!
“We're not going to only be able to offer more treatment options, but also bring in specialty physicians so patients aren't having to travel long distances,” said Dr. Hensley.
Making the 20 minute drive here versus the hour long drive to Charleston has made all of the difference to the Cooks.
“Once we get the facilities and staff like we have here now, I think it will be a state-of-the-art facility,” said Mrs. Cook.
Groundbreaking for the new facility is expected between April and July of next year. The building should be completed in about two years from there--around the summer of 2015.
According to a news release, Boone Memorial Hospital is getting a $31.8M federal loan to build a new hospital and clinic.
The loan will help construct, equip and furnish the 78,700 square feet facility.
“For almost five decades, Boone Memorial has helped serve the health needs of generations of families and I have been proud to work with them,” said U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall. “This major financing is a needed shot in the arm for Boone Memorial, its dedicated workforce, and most importantly, the families they serve. Federal investments, like this, help raise the health and the quality of life for the entire region.”
The new facility is needed because the current facility was designed for medical practice in the 1960s, according to the release.
The current facility is extremely inefficient, lacks needed storage, has inadequate environmental controls and the safety and security systems do not meet new standards, according to the release.
Officials say the current facility would be extremely expensive to renovate or remodel.
“I’m so proud of Boone Memorial CEO Tommy Mullins and his entire staff for having the tenacity and commitment to meet the needs of the people of Boone County,” Manchin said. “Tommy’s perseverance all these years – along with the capable work of his dedicated staff – are making all the difference in the lives and health of our residents. With a loan program like this, everyone has some skin in the game – and a vested interest in seeing this hospital succeed.”
No word on when construction will begin.