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Morris Hospital eyes full reopening Wednesday

Could resume accepting in-patients, performing surgeries then

Published: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 2:36 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, May 1, 2013 9:01 a.m. CDT
(Photo courtesy of Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers)
Rodney Jenkins gives the floor in the Morris Hospital Laboratory a final cleaning before staff begins the process of moving equipment and supplies back in following the April 18 flood.

Morris Hospital is making steady progress on cleanup and restoration following the April 18 flood that caused damage to 75,000 square feet on the hospital’s lower level. Approximately 80 percent of the damaged area has been certified as “clean” by an industrial hygienist.

Hospital staff is beginning to move equipment and supplies back into the Laboratory, Pharmacy and Nutrition Services following the installation of new dry wall and flooring.

“Things are really coming together,” says Mark Steadham, president and CEO of Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers. “Our employees have been great about taking on other duties so we can get back to full operations as quickly as possible.”

At this time, hospital officials have their sights set on resuming in-patient and surgical care on Wednesday, May 1, pending approval from the Illinois Department of Public Health. The hospital will also be able to resume accepting ambulance transports once the in-patient nursing units re-open.

The hospital has been unable to admit patients and has been on bypass for ambulance patients since April 18, when flooding took over its parking lot and basement. Walk-in patients to the emergency room have continued to be accepted, but have to go to another hospital if their needs require them to be admitted.

There is more than $1 million in damage to the hospital. Water did not reach any patient areas. Due to the flooding, 47 patients were evacuated. Of the 47 patients, 25 were transferred to other hospitals and 22 went home or to their nursing homes.

Last week, IDPH granted approval to open the GI Lab and minor procedures room, in addition to resuming full obstetrical care. The birth of the first baby on April 24 was widely celebrated throughout the hospital and community, as evidenced by the outpouring of support on the hospital’s Facebook page.

By noon on Saturday, a total of nine babies had been delivered at the hospital since the flood. Serving patients in 18 communities, Morris Hospital & Healthcare Centers includes the 89-bed Morris Hospital, as well as the Braidwood, Channahon, Dwight, Gardner, Marseilles, Minooka, Morris and Newark Healthcare Centers.

Through the services of over 1,600 healthcare professionals, physicians and volunteers, Morris Hospital provides lifesaving cardiac intervention with angioplasty and stents, a radiation therapy center for cancer patients, a state-of-the-art intensive care unit, a dedicated pediatric unit, and immediate care services at two locations.

Morris Hospital is a Level II trauma center and a Level II perinatal care provider with an intermediate care nursery.

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