By BARBARA GREEN
Two weeks ago, the first patients were rolled into the new private rooms constructed during phase one of the Nocona General Hospital building project, with phase two well underway and expected to be completed in January 2019.
The dirt has been flying since last September when the $3.5 million building project broke ground. Almost two weeks ago the final certifications were completed and patients were able to see the new facilities.
Lance Meekins, NGH administrator, is happy to show off the new rooms that usher in the next era of medical care at the hospital.
This is the first major facelift for the hospital since it opened in 1974. The wellness center was opened in 2006, the radiology wing was opened in 2003, while the emergency room was moved to the north side of the medical clinic when it was built in 1994.
Nocona General is licensed as a 38-bed prospective payment system hospital with a 24-hour emergency room level IV trauma center. It operates with about 102 employees of which about 85 are considered full-time and come from across Montague County.
Phase one centered on east patient wing where semi-private rooms were converted into private rooms with a larger bathroom and sitting area. Meekins said the new rooms provide more space for family and convenience for the patient. This phase created 11 private rooms, while phase two will bring that number up to 18 private rooms and four beds in a special care unit.