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Mercy emergency department expansion to open mid-July

Skye Kinkade
Mount Shasta Herald
The nurse's station in Mercy Mt. Shasta's new Emergency Department will serve as a hub for activity. The 2,900 square foot expansion is on target to open mid-July, hospital officials said.

Mercy Mt. Shasta is on track to open its 2,900 square foot Emergency Department addition in mid-July, which includes a private admitting area, triage area, centralized nursing station, additional trauma beds, separate entrances for ambulances and pedestrians, staff and patient restrooms, a vending area and a new lobby.

Contractors broke ground on the new construction in September of 2018 to update the emergency department that was originally built in 1976 and hadn’t been updated since the 1980s, said the hospital’s director of ancillary services, Joyce Zwanziger.

Once the expansion is complete, the project’s second phase will begin, said Zwanziger. Over the course of a year, the hospital’s existing 2,000 square foot emergency department will be renovated in shifts, said Billy Gansel, the hospital’s director of plant operations.

“The construction will replicate the latest technology built into the new addition. The work will include renovating and adding trauma and treatment rooms, adding a negative pressure isolation room with attached restroom and anteroom.”

“There will still be one patient room with three beds, but the beds will be separated by glass walls, not curtains, like they are now,” said Zwanziger, who called the project the most exciting she’s been involved in during her 17 years at Mercy.

The old ED lacked in patient privacy, staff safety and overall efficiency, explained Zwanziger.

Mercy Mt. Shasta serves as a base station for the local ambulance service and is designated a Level III trauma center – the only Level III trauma center between Medford, Ore. and Redding.