Hospital's fourth-floor facelift dedicated

By Shelby Harrell | Mar 14, 2014

The fourth floor of MedWest Haywood hospital was packed tightly Thursday evening when dozens of community members came to view the newly remodeled care units and participate in a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Since November, the entire fourth floor has undergone remodeling improvements to better serve patients and visitors. The fourth floor is home to the Women’s Care Unit and the Progressive Care Unit as well as the lobby area that connects the two.

Local residents were crammed elbow to elbow into the hallways eager to catch a glimpse of the ceremony in front of the brand new nurse’s station — but not before several speeches were given to celebrate the occasion.

“I want to thank the MedWest Haywood Foundation for graduating the funds,” said Amanda Carnes, an RN who has worked at the hospital for nine years. “This facelift will provide a more comfortable atmosphere for the patients.”

Jill Elders, a nurse who has worked in the Progressive Care Unit for four years, thanked the Haywood Regional Medical Center Foundation for the remodel.

“It looks brand new and I can’t wait to get back to work,” Elders said. “I know the patients will love it, and that’s what we do here — we take care of our patients.”

Steve McNeil a board member of the Haywood County Chamber of Commerce said MedWest Haywood had always put the needs of patients first.

“The most important thing in a community hospital is the people, and all the folks here really take care of the patients,” McNeil said. “It’s my pleasure to congratulate everyone on the conclusion of a beautifully remodeled project.”

Laura Leatherwood, chairwoman of the HRMC Board, thanked the foundation and staff members for the financial and overall support.

“We couldn’t have done it with out you,” Leatherwood said.

MedWest Haywood CEO Janie Synacore-Jaberg was all smiles and glowing with excitement about the completion of the floor.

“Before, this floor was all antique and dark — it wasn’t as conducive to patient safety and quality, and that’s what we’re all about,” said Synacore-Jaberg. “Now the lighting has dramatically changed. Clark & Leatherwood and his team did amazing work.”

Clark & Leatherwood Inc., a contractor company based out of  Waynesville, was in charge of doing all the remodeling.

Lewis Clark, Clark & Leatherwood senior project manager, said the biggest challenge about the remodel was doing construction while half of the floor was still occupied by patients.

Clark said the major changes made to the floor included all new hardwood flooring, new handrails, an updated nurse’s station, LED lights and new painting and finishing’s on all the walls.

“This will make it all much easier to maintain,” Clark said.

The remodel was made possible by a donation by The HRMC Foundation. In June the Foundation unanimously approved a $400,000 donation to MedWest Haywood for the remodel. $200,000 of the donation was made up front with the rest of the funds coming from proceeds of the Foundation’s annual Golf & Gala, which was held last August at various golf courses throughout Haywood County.

A donation of this size is not new to the Foundation. Probably the most visible and significant project was the Health & Fitness Center, adjacent to the hospital on Leroy George Drive. More than $3 million dollars for this facility was funded by the Foundation.

In 2012 the HRMC Foundation donated nearly $250,000 in continued funding of the Homestead, MedWest Haywood’s Hospice and Palliative Care facility. In all, the Foundation has given over $3 million to fund The Homestead. Also in 2012, The Foundation gave over $265,000 to help build a new Outpatient Care Center on the campus of MedWest Haywood.