L.V. Stabler dedicates new ER department

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 8, 2000

More than 150 community members were on hand Thursday afternoon to celebrate the dedication of L.V. Stabler Memorial Hospital's newly renovated and expanded emergency room which hospital officials say will be in full operation by Wednesday of next week.

The new 5,100 square foot facility was dedicated as the Dr. E.V. Stabler Emergency Department in honor of more than 32 years of service Dr. Vernon Stabler has given to the community.

During a brief ceremony, CEO Tom McDougal said the dedication reflects the hospital's gratitude for the years of expertise and professionalism Stabler has given the hospital, its staff and its patients.

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"Dr. Stabler's dedication to this hospital serves as an inspiration to all of us," McDougal said "And it is with pride that we dedicate this new emergency department in his honor."

Stabler spoke briefly about the changes he has seen at the hospital and in emergency care since he became a staff member in 1967. He said the only ambulance available in those days was the hearse from the local funeral home and emergency care in the local area was not readily available.

As time and the need progressed, Stabler said the hospital rose to meet the needs of the community in all areas including emergency medicine. The newly expanded emergency department, Stabler said, will allow the hospital to continue meeting the needs of the community in the future.

The expansion project began in November of 1999 for the purpose of providing additional space to assure privacy and confidentiality of emergency patients and to allow for larger volumes of patients to be treated.

McDougal said the hospital has experienced significant growth in the number of patients using it's emergency department, and the expansion allows the area's largest healthcare provider to keep up with that growth without sacrificing quality or time of patient care.

The project expanded the pre-existing treatment center to an eight-bed facility which includes a double-bay trauma unit, an orthopedic unit and five private examination rooms. In addition, the new emergency department is designed to process patients quickly so they get the care they need in a timely manner.

A waiting room that seats 56 people has been added and a "fast track" service has been implemented to treat minor emergencies more quickly.

The hospital's admitting and switchboard operations will also relocated to the new facility creating a central location for all admissions, inpatient hospitalizations, radiology services, laboratory services, outpatient/same day surgeries and emergency services.

"In the past, the hospital has emphasized improvements in the quality and timeliness of services. This has resulted in increased volumes as the community's confidence in our abilities has increased," McDougal said. "This renovation and expansion project is necessary as we continue our commitment to provide high quality and timely services."