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Expanded CGH emergency department opens Thursday

STERLING – More room in the emergency room. In the whole department, in fact.

That’s what CGH Medical Center patients will see when the first phase of the $8.6 million Emergency Department expansion opens at 2 a.m. Thursday at the city-owned hospital at 100 E. LeFevre.

More than half of the new treatment rooms – 13 of 24 – will be ready to use, CGH marketing specialist Rebecca Green said in a news release Friday.

When finished, the project, which broke ground Oct. 3, will give the department 23 private treatment rooms, a trauma room with two or three beds, six patient treatment bays, three triage rooms, and a streamlined patient registration and triage process.

Space will more than double, from 10,000 to 21,000 square feet.

“We’re excited to open this first phase of construction,” Shirley Wolford, Emergency Department director, said in the release. “We will be one step closer to alleviating the overcrowding problem seen in our current ED, while also being able to provide more personalized, private care and comfort for our patients.”

According to the release:

Next, the ED patient entrance and parking will move to what is now the east entrance. Once inside, patients will be directed to one of two temporary registration offices.

Because triage and bedside registration will take place within the new ED, the registration offices will take only a patient’s name and date of birth. Patients and family members then will be shown to the temporary ED lobby.

For security purposes, the new ED will have secured access, patients’ visitors will be limited, and the double doors on LeFevre will be locked after 8 p.m. Visitors entering the ED entrance after 8 p.m. will be issued a visitor’s badge and will be allowed to use the public elevators.

For construction purposes, a temporary wall will be built in the hallway leading to the CGH lab, although access to the lab still will be available.

The rest of the project will take about a year to complete; construction is scheduled to be done by next summer, the release said.

The expansion, which is being paid for by debt restructuring and the issuance of bonds, is much needed, hospital officials have said.

The emergency department had 4,000 visits in 1971, between 14,000 to 17,000 visits in 1993, when the current space opened, and nearly 30,000 visits in 2012. The expansion is designed with 40,000 visits a year in mind.

For more information

Go to or call 815-625-0400 for updates and more information.

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