CMC to build new $10 million emergency room

New 15,000 square foot emergency room at Cambridge Medical Center will be added adjacent to current emergency room

By Rachel Kytonen

Cambridge Medical Center’s emergency room was built to accommodate 8,400 patients a year. That number was surpassed over 10 years ago, and currently the ER serves more than 14,500 patients annually.

On Wednesday, Sept. 14, Cambridge Medical Center broke ground for a new $10 million emergency room expansion and chemotherapy remodel.

Jeff Peterson, executive vice president of Allina Hospitals & Clinics; Mayor Marlys Palmer, mayor of Cambridge; Dennis Doran, president of Cambridge Medical Center; Mark Thayer, M.D., medical director CMC Emergency Services and Chris Miller, board chair of CMC Foundation, break ground on Wednesday, Sept. 14 for the new 15,000 square foot emergency room. The new emergency room is expected to open in November 2012, and will feature 21 all private patient treatment rooms. Photo by Rachel Kytonen

The new construction will include 15,000 square feet of new space that be added to the medical center, adjacent to the current ER, and 1,000 square feet of existing space will also be remodeled.

The new facility will transform the delivery of emergency care at Cambridge Medical Center through advanced technology, improved patient privacy and confidentiality, and patient-centered emergency medical care to meet the needs of patients both now and in the future.

“This is a day many of us have been waiting for for a long time,” said Dennis Doran, president of Cambridge Medical Center. “Like most good things that happen, it takes a partnership to make it happen. We have a great partnership through the community, Allina Hospitals & Clinics and Cambridge Medical Center staff.”

The new ER is expected to open in November 2012 and features  of the project include:

• 21 patient treatment rooms—all private
13 exam/treatment rooms designed to prevent cross-infection and cross contamination
4 trauma/cardiac rooms to stabilize and treat critically ill patients
4 secure, separate mental health rooms for improved patient safety.

• A decontamination room for instances of biologic, chemical or radiation exposure
• Open nursing station that allows staff to see all patient care areas
• State-of-the-art technology and patient care equipment
• Individual patient registration area for increased confidentiality
• Flat screen televisions in patient rooms
• Quiet, calm healing environment
• Private family consultation room
• Large ambulance bay for 3 ambulances
• A new Short Stay Services entrance, reception desk and lobby will be added.
• Four new chemotherapy/infusion therapy suites will replace the current therapy rooms.

Jeff Peterson, executive vice president of Allina Hospital & Clinics, said CMC is vital part of the Allina community.

“You have a wonderful CEO doing a tremendous job,” Peterson said. “This is an important effort to build a first class emergency center here. We look forward to celebrating with you when the doors open next fall.”

Pictured is an artist’s rendering of the new 15,000 square foot emergency room that will be added to Cambridge Medical Center, adjacent to the current emergency room. The new emergency room is expected to open in November 2012.

Peterson noted Allina is the largest provider of hospital care in the state, with over 23,000 employees.

“We try to support projects with the greatest need, and we also are asking the community for help,” Peterson said. “Cambridge Medical Center is leading a $1 million campaign to help support this project.”

Cambridge Mayor Marlys Palmer personally reflected on what the ER has meant to her family.

“This emergency room area and hospital is a place I’ve been at many times in the past,” Palmer said. “On behalf of the city of Cambridge and its citizens, we would like to express sincere pleasure to share today in this historic groundbreaking ceremony. I can’t even begin to communicate the deep sense of pride, commitment and dedication people feel toward this facility.”

Palmer said the medical center is important to the community.

“We already have had events this year that have demonstrated our needs for each other and this facility,” Palmer said.”We have long and difficult cold winters that brought many people here for treatments. We recently had a fallen firefighter and I think of the heroic efforts that were made to save his life.”

Palmer touched on the powerful storms that moved through the area this summer.

“When the 80 to 90 mile per hour winds came up the first of July, emotionally and physically it took a toll on us,” Palmer said. “Cambridge Medical Center stood here ready to help us as people came in with broken bones and other abrasions.”

Palmer touched on family members who have personally used CMC.

“My husband’s elderly aunt moved to the area when she was 88 years old, and was well-respected and taken care of in this community,” Palmer said. “My lovely and spirited mother lived in the Cambridge the last five years of her life … She was a regular therapy infusion patient here and CMC loved her and she had the best physician and surgeon.”

Palmer also mentioned her daughter was diagnosed with cancer in 2008 and 2011, and finished her chemotherapy at CMC and has now returned to work.

Palmer feels the expansion is needed.

“Today’s expansion is greatly needed, and I’ve had my share of experiences here in the emergency room, infusion and chemotherapy areas,” Palmer said. “This expansion will be welcomed by staff, the patients and the community as well.”

Chris Miller, board chair of the CMC Foundation, urged the community to support the capital campaign.

“We need to be involved and passionate about supporting our medical center,” Miller said. “I challenge each of you to reach out to the community and help the community understand how important Cambridge Medical Center is to us.”

Miller touched on an emotional personal experience with the emergency room at CMC.

“Fourteen years ago, Sept. 12, my husband went into cardiac arrest and the Cambridge Medical Center emergency room saved his life,” Miller said. “To each and every one of us, may we look into our hearts and thoughts … This is a great organization.”

Dr. Mark Thayer, medical director of Cambridge Medical Center emergency services, said he is honored to work at CMC.

“We need this new emergency room to continue to provide high quality care, and provide privacy, in a state-of-the-art facility,” Thayer said.

For more information on the Capital Campaign, call 763-688-9393. Naming and commemorative giving opportunities available.