Nebraska hospital recovers from storm damage and is ready for patients
After flood damage, Faith Regional Health Services prepares to re-open newly remodeled Emergency Room.
Just a few months ago the Emergency Room at Faith Regional Health Services in Norfolk, Nebraska was flooded by a deluge of rain water and hail. Now, the hospital is ready to reopen its emergency department.
During the April storm, a clogged drain in a stairwell caused a metal door to propel ten feet into the emergency department. It sent four feet of water rushing in, covering the department.
The damage forced officials to move the ER to a neighboring bed tower so renovations could be made to about 15,000 square feet of hospital space. Faith Regional staff say they think the last few months have been trying, but beneficial.
"I feel it's actually brought the hospital a little bit closer together with the nursing staff. With the ER being in the back in the bed tower we've been working side by side. So it's been a good thing for everybody, I think," said Faith Regional Emergency Services Director Joyce Warneke.
What was once an empty, water-damaged shell is now almost fully renovated and in many ways improved. Hospital staff say when patients start coming in next week they'll see a completely different layout.
Warneke said, "We've moved the registration desk which used to be over on the left and have created a new one. That will be nice because they'll be able to visualize people as they walk through our emergency room door, which is a benefit. They can see them coming and if they need help right off the bat."
Hospital administrators say they were planning to make renovations to the emergency department even before April's storms. Coincidentally, they were holding a fundraiser to renovate the ER the same night it was flooded.
While hospital officials didn't have an exact figure on the cost of the renovations, they did say most of them were covered by the funds raised that night and insurance.
Faith Regional staff say they wouldn't want to go through this again, but if they ever do, it's nice to know they can handle it.
"It did go very smoothly. I commend all the staff that were here and everyone that helped," said Warneke.
Faith Regional Health Services new Emergency Room will open for new patients at 6AM on Thursday, September 13.
Hospital officials say patients admitted before next Thursday will stay in the temporary location.