A new look for the Murray County Medical Center

SLAYTON?- The Murray County Medical Center had an open house on Thursday evening to show off the new and improved facilities.

“It’s more than a new wing, it’s actually twice the size of the old hospital, a little over 37,000 square feet,” said Mel Snow, hospital administrator.

Additions include a new front entry, centralized registration, a new kitchen and dietary area, six new doctors’ offices, 12 examination rooms, a new diagnostic area and a specialty coffee shop run by Slayton’s popular Left Bank Cafe.

“This is a community hospital, and we tried to keep everything we could local,” said Chief Nursing Officer Lorrie Mortensen.

The diagnostic area includes MRI, upgraded CT scan, ultrasound, digital mammography and bone density scan.

“All of our diagnostic services came in by truck before,” Snow said. “Now we have them seven days a week, 24 hours a day.”

There is also a new inpatient rehabilitation area, nurses stations, a family room, chapel, healing garden, more office space, trauma emergency room area and an attached ambulance garage, all under one roof.

“From the patient’s perspective, when it’s 25 below outside, the last thing you want is to go outside,” Mortensen said.

The 14 hospital rooms are all compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Each has a private bathroom and is equipped with a ceiling-mounted lift chair to assist patients in and out of bed or into a wheelchair.

In addition, the chemotherapy and outpatient infusion services have been expanded.

What this means for area residents is services that patients would formerly have to have traveled for, or waited until the traveling diagnostic equipment was scheduled to come to town, can be accessed within a reasonable distance at a time of their choosing.

“We have an elder population, so it’s convenient,” said Certified Physician Assistant Lesli Kramer. “We offer more services and compared to a big hospital, quicker.”