CRMC opens Medical Plaza III
Cameron Regional Medical Center (CRMC) held a grand opening open house for their new Medical Plaza III on Thursday, April 19. Carol Arthur, Assistant Administrator/Marketing Director, said approximately 75 people attended and the community’s response has been very positive.
Groundbreaking for the new unit was held on February 24, 2017 with construction starting in March of the same year. The hospital hired HMN Architects and Purdum Construction, both out of Overland Park, Kan. to design and complete the new edition. Local subcontractors were also used whenever it was possible and Arthur served as the Construction Coordinator for the project.
“Medical Plaza III has a new Renal Dialysis unit, Occupational and Speech Therapies unit and a shell for a future infusion center,” said Arthur. “We plan to finish (the infusion center) within the next year or two. These are all services we had, but are expanding due to demand.”
The corridor connecting Medical Plaza III to the main hospital, the renal dialysis unit and the infusion center shell cost approximately two million and the occupational and speech therapy unit cost about one million.
The Occupational/Speech Therapy department was previously housed in the main hospital. The department moved to Medical Plaza III in February and offers additional square footage to accommodate a growing need.
“We love it here,” said Wendy Heyer, Lead Occupational Therapist, about their new space. “It is quiet and beautiful. It is nice having the extra room. We enjoy it and we would like to thank Cameron for giving it to us.”
With diabetes, kidney disease and high blood pressure on the rise, the need for a larger dialysis unit was in high demand. CRMC also has a dialysis unit in Bethany. This unit was upgraded from a five-chair to a 10-chair unit about four years ago.
“Renal Dialysis units are not on every street corner; they are pretty few and far between,” explained Arthur. “People were having to drive for hours and undergo dialysis three times a week, takaing a treatment that is three to four hours long and have a long drive on both ends of that, it gets pretty tough.”
The previous renal dialysis unit was housed in Medical Plaza II. It had a four-chair capacity and was 1500 square feet. The new unit is a 4000 square foot space, which opened in January, and now holds 10 chairs. Arthur said it is much more patient and staff friendly. Dr. Shahzad Shafique is the Medical Director of Nephrology with Trish Schieber serving as Managing RN for renal dialysis and Tammi Easton as Director of Nursing. Dr. Shafique has been with CRMC since 2009 and helped develop and expand the Nephrology Unit.
Dr. Shafique explained with their four-chair unit, they were only able to accommodate 12 patients a day but had up to 20 patients who needed the service. However, with the new 10-chair unit, he can serve up to 30 patients a day and has the flexibility to schedule morning and afternoon appointments. He also said he was able to separate the dialysis patients so they had privacy and now has two exam rooms instead of one.
“We have a lot more space in the newer building so everyone is really enjoying it,” said Dr. Shafique. “My work flow is much better.”
Dr. Shafique encourages dialysis patients to come and investigate the facility at CRMC before deciding on a dialysis unit elsewhere.
“This whole project fits our mission about meeting the needs of our area,” added Joe Abrutz, CRMC Administrator. “Kidney disease is growing, diabetes is growing, so it was natural to have a larger Dialysis and Nephrology Center. It’s a brutal treatment and we have minimized their travel by providing these services locally, and to me that’s big.”
Abrutz also said it is CRMC’s goal to be the focal point of medical services for the northwest Missouri.