Patricia Guthrie/Whidbey News-Times — Working on the finishing touches of a patient room inside the new wing of WhidbeyHealth Medical Center, Carlos Torres paints a bathroom door. The 39-bed addition is slated to open July 7.

WhidbeyHealth new addition to open July 7

Transferring of patients planned with military precision

The long-awaited new wing of WhidbeyHealth Medical Center will open July 7, hospital district officials said Monday.

Patients, accompanied by a team of nurses and staff, will be transferred from the old part of the hospital to the spacious, sparkling new single patient rooms.

The hospital is doubling up on staff for the moving day.

“We hope to be totally prepared once that date hits 25 days from now,” Chief Nursing Officer Cindy Noonan said at a Whidbey Island Health District board commissioners meeting. “But it’s a new building. Anything could happen.”

A grand opening for the public will be delayed until a final renovation project is compete.

“We’ll have a formal opening in November,” said hospital CEO Geri Forbes. “Since we will still have construction, it’s not in the best interest to have an open house but individuals can still come through on tour.”

A $50-million bond approved by voters in 2013 finances the two-floor 60,000-square-foot addition and a renovation project. The new wing’s 39 single-bed rooms replace the current intensive care unit, medical and surgical patient rooms and labor and delivery suites.

The project is on budget and on time, said George Senerth, facilities and plant engineering director.

“The furniture and medical equipment will be moved in the week of June 26 and everything should be in place July 1,” he said.

The new wing is divided into east and west pods separated by a corridor, reception desk and waiting areas. A circular skylight beams from above. A wall of Whidbey Island history and large photos by local residents are a few of the planned finishing touches.

Built with the latest germ-fighting materials on its walls, floors and bathrooms, it also includes innovative design to increase patient privacy and decrease nurse fatigue.

With their bright yellow-and-orange vests and hardhats, the 100-person crew of Andersen Construction was a frequent presence around the building site over the past year, but they won’t be done working when the new wing opens.

Renovation begins on the old patient rooms, which are converting to recovery areas for outpatient surgeries.

That project begins July 10 and is expected to be completed in late October.

Patricia Guthrie/Whidbey News-Times — The new addition of WhidbeyHealth Medical Center features a circular skylight in the waiting and reception area. The 39-single-patient room wing is slated to open July 7.

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