Hospital moving forward with plans to build new facility
by Bain Serna
May 12, 2014 | 229 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
KENEDY – The Otto Kaiser Memorial Hospital Board of Directors met on April 29 and voted to approve moving forward with plans for building a new hospital facility on its current campus, and will now enter into negotiations with a contractor regarding the cost of construction and other preliminary necessities .

OKMH officials had previously looked at several different options that included expanding and adding to the current facility, but felt that it was cost prohibitive given the fact that the entire facility would have to be brought up to current codes, not just the expansion areas. In that scenario, according to OKMH officials, the high costs of maintaining the roof, plumbing, and HVAC systems of the older existing hospital would have to be maintained.

“Currently the plan is to build an entire new facility on our current campus out in front of the existing hospital and professional building,” said David Lee, CEO of OKMH. “Also in the plans is a community wellness center that will be located in front of the specialist clinic and it will share a parking lot with the new hospital.

The current facility is about 40 years old and as the volume of patients continue to increase, the hospital is finding itself cramped and short on space. According to Lee, this makes it very difficult to expand and/or add new service lines, which must be done in order to be able to compete in today’s rapidly changing healthcare world.

Lee states that moving into a new state-of-the-art facility will give the hospital the ability to embrace new technologies in healthcare and add new service lines that the community can benefit from.

“Our goal is to provide quality healthcare to the Karnes County community, and the new facility will solidify the opportunity to achieve that goal for many years to come,” said Lee. “And again, it gives us the ability to attract specialists and add new services that patients are currently receiving in San Antonio, for example. I believe that with a new facility and the dedicated staff here at Otto Kaiser, we will have something that this community can be very proud of.”

Decisions on what to do with the current hospital building is still being considered. Some options that hospital officials are possibly considering are to have Kaiser Home Health utilize a portion of the space, renovate or tear down to build a new specialist clinic, or make it a dialysis clinic. No decisions have been made on what to do, if anything, with the current structure.

Plans for the new facility are still in the beginning and consideration phase and no definite plans will be finalized until there is a signed agreement with a contractor. The design is still in the development phase. More details regarding blueprints and exterior images will be made public once the official plans become more concrete and a contractor is decided upon.

“We have an amazing staff here at Otto Kaiser, and the new facility will give them an even better opportunity to put their talents to use for the community,” said Lee.
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