With more than 90 percent of construction expansion complete, the first full-service hospital in Clayton is on track to open in January.
During a tour of the new building last week, Johnston Health’s senior administrative director of support services, Kyle McDermott, said builders are ahead of schedule. Hospital leaders plan to open the inpatient wing Jan. 10.
Contractors started the $51 million project last fall, breaking ground for a three-story building that will house 50 inpatient beds, plus a women’s center with labor and delivery rooms, a nursery and a room for C-sections.
In 2009, Johnston Health opened an emergency room, lab and same-day surgery center at its medical campus on N.C. 42 West. The plan was to build a inpatient wing within a couple of years, but a struggling economy delayed the project, said hospital spokeswoman Suzette Rodriguez.
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Currently, Clayton residents who need inpatient care must go either 12 miles east to Johnston Medical Center of Smithfield or about 17 miles northwest to WakeMed in Raleigh.
The 92,000-square-foot expansion is not just adding beds but all of the other amenities that typically accompany a full-service hospital.
“It’s really designed for comfort,” McDermott said.
On the first floor, patients and families can eat at a dining hall that includes an outdoor seating area. However, for patients, the hospital also offers room service, a popular amenity at the Smithfield hospital, McDermott said.
“There are not many things patients have control of in a hospital, so we want to give them control of room service,” he said.
A children’s area is next to the dining hall, and the first floor also has a chapel with several rows of seating. The children’s area and chapel lead to an atrium spanning all three floors and featuring plants and large windows.
The atrium is next to a courtyard, which will include a garden area and fountain.
A pharmacy that will be seven times larger than the existing one is on the second floor. It features a pneumatic tube system capable of sending medications to eight different places in the hospital.
The second floor is also home to a unit for intensive-care patients. A family room is located close by.
“We want families to be able to be as close to their loved ones as possible,” McDermott said.
The contractor also built a new MRI space closer to radiology services on the ground floor, freeing up space for nine additional exam rooms in the emergency department. During construction, the hospital has leased a mobile MRI unit to continue offering the service.
The original plan called for 27 inpatient rooms, but demand at Johnston Health Clayton’s existing facilities pushed that number to 50. McDermott said the hospital already has schematics for 50 additional rooms, which would extend out from the rear of the new expansion in a “T” shape.