WhidbeyHealth delays opening of new addition

Last-minute inspections still needed

WhidbeyHealth Medical Center delayed a planned opening of its new 39-bed addition Friday.

Final inspection of the heating, cooling, electrical and other systems still needs to be completed by the company that installed them, according to George Senerth, facilities and plant engineering director for the hospital.

The monthly meeting of the Whidbey Island Public Hospital District Board of Commissioners was also changed. The board will now meet at 7 a.m. Monday, July 17, said Patricia Duff, WhidbeyHealth spokeswoman.

The board usually meets on the second Monday of the month.

Meanwhile, hospital staff continues to prepare for transfer day, when patients from the older part of the hospital will be wheeled into the new, single-bed rooms that are spacious and designed with the latest innovations for infection control and healing.

The new wing replaces the current intensive care unit, medical and surgical patient rooms and labor and delivery suites, which will undergo renovation and become pre and post-operative areas.

A $50 million bond approved by voters in 2013 finances the two-floor, 60,000-square-foot addition and the renovation project.

After patients are discharged, they will leave through a new exit area where they can be picked up separate from the hospital’s main entrance. Newly planted landscaping and a wooden fence section off the discharge area.

A grand opening for the public is being planned for the fall.