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Thread: Naval Hospital undergoing change
09-25-07, 06:08 AM #1
Naval Hospital undergoing change
Naval Hospital undergoing change
Larger, better facilities planned to keep up with growing base
BY JENNIFER HLAD
September 25, 2007 - 12:59AM
DAILY NEWS STAFF
Camp Lejeune is growing, and the Naval Hospital is growing with it.
As the base makes way for thousands more Marines — part of the Pentagon’s plan to increase the size of the Marine Corps — Camp Lejeune’s Naval Hospital is working to ensure those Ma-rines and their families have the health-care facilities they need, officials say.
The hospital was designed in the late 1970s for an entirely different health-care model than is used today, Capt. Mark Olesen, commanding officer of the hospital said, and it must be ex-panded to meet the growing need.
“This facility needs to evolve,” he said.
The hospital’s newly renovated mother-baby unit was finished in Aug. 2006, and “it raised the bar for renovation,” said Lt. j.g. Mitchelle Ortiz, a facility engineer.
Workers are now renovating all the in-patient rooms on the hospital’s third floor — a project scheduled to be complete by December, Ortiz said.
With the announced increase in Marines, the hospital also has been working with base plan-ners to try to determine where Marines and their families will be and where clinics are needed, Ortiz said.
Workers will begin renovating two other buildings on base in November and December, Ortiz said. Those buildings house the Post-Deployment Health Assessment Program, the Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program, some dental services and a variety of administrative areas.
The two buildings are 1940s-era converted barracks buildings, Olesen said, but the $5 million renovation projects in each will make them “state-of-the-art facilities.”
A larger-scale renovation and expansion project — slated to expand the hospital by more than 30 percent — will begin in 2010, Ortiz said.
The expansion will double the size of the emergency room, Olesen said, as well as greatly in-crease the clinic area and take better advantage of the space.
“We are really facility-constrained in many areas,” he said.
“(The changes) will improve functionality so we can expand services,” Olesen said. “It will give us such flexibility.”
Nearly every department will have to grow to meet the expansion, Ortiz said.
That growth will help meet the needs of the current patients and the anticipated 12,000 to 15,000 additional patients, Olesen said. The hospital also plans to augment the staff, he said.
When the hospital was built, he said, it was designed for active-duty Marines. The growing family member population and the growing Corps have challenged the hospital, he said.
But now the hospital is taking the lessons of the past to prepare for the future, he said.
“We’re committed to taking care of our Marines and their families,” Olesen said. “To do that, we need to expand the facility.”
Contact military reporter Jennifer Hlad at firstname.lastname@example.org or 353-1171, ext. 8449.
IN LOVING MEMORY OF MY LATE HUSBAND, SSgt Roger A. Alfano, USMC
ONE PROUD MARINE
Once a Marine...Always a Marine
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