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April 11, 2008     Cape Gazette
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April 11, 2008

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-1- 28 - CAPE GAZETTE - Friday, April 11 - Monday, April 14, 2008 Joe Hudson cuts the ribbon to formally dedicate Beebe Medical Center's new Joseph R. Hudson wing. Joining him for the ceremonial opening are (l- r) Jim Monihan,special consultant to Beebe president; Beebe Board Chairwoman Jan McCarty; Beebe President Jeff Fried; Paul Mylander, chair- man of the Vision 2005 campaign that raised funds for the expansion; Beebe Dennis Fomey photos Medical Foundation Chairman Gene Bookhammer; Hudson; VendlaEsler, vice president patient care; Dr. James Beebe Jr., member of Beebe's board of direc- tors; Betsy Frederick, director of critical care; Fran Needham, director of emergency services; Kathryn Byrne, director of in-patient services; Lewes Mayor Jim Ford; and Beebe Chief Engineer Greg Tylecki. Beebe cuts ribbon for Joseph R. Hudson wing Expanded facilities honor former board chair, provides sorely needed expansion for hospital treatment for chemical contami- nation and a bariatric room in the medical-surgical suite specially outfitted for severely obese patients. The rooftop helipad includes the tate's only foam fire- suppression system, built around the perimeter of the 50-foot by 50-foot platform. The expan- sion brings Beebe's total beds to 195, com- pared to the three beds in the orig- inal Beebe Hospital started by sur- geon brothers James and Richard Beebe in 1916. The emergency room expansion - with 37 beds - has twice the beds By Dennis Forney Cape Gazette staff As Sussex County grows so grows Beebe Medical Center. On Wednesday this week, Beebe offi- cials cut the ribbon on the long- needed expansion of its emer- gency department. In a service area of 90,000 people, the depart- ment now attends to more than 70,000 patients per year. Named for former Beebe Board Chairman Joseph R. Hudson, the new wing also includes a Critical Care Unit on the second floor with 20 beds and a medical-surgical unit on the third floor with 42 beds. All three components of the wing include state-of-the-art design and technology including an isolation room in the emer- gency room for patients needing Adrianne Harvey, center, lead critical care nurse, discusses the state-of-the-art technology in these rooms where very ill people receive care. "The beds can weigh people and turn them over," said Harvey, "and that's no small consideration in this area." Beebe volunteer Bill Cheyney and Lee Halloran of the Beebe Medical Foundation staff were among those tour- ing the new facilities. designed for the existing emer- gency department which opened Memorial Day weekend in 1988. However, the hallways of the existing emergency room are typ- ically lined with up to ten rolling beds to meet daily demand. Dr. Tom Shreeve is president of Sussex Emergency Associates which employs doctors for the emergency :[  department. ,'We've been : planning this since 1998," said Shreeve, "and we reached the :::,: s:' i ::, ,: ::,, !:: need for this new capacity two years ago. We're really already using it and I just hope - with the growth we're having - it doesn't become obso- lete too quickly." Dr. James Marvel, an orthope- dic surgeon and relative of the hospital's founders, said he expects the new emergency department to be at or beyond capacity within six months. "That's just how fast we're grow- ing," he said. 'I'm lobbying to keep our old helipad in place because there are plenty of times when I've seen two helicopters trying to get in here at the same time." No one, however, was happier at Wednesday's dedication than the doctors and staff of the emer- gency department. They cheered enthusiastically when Beebe President Jeff Fried noted that patient satisfaction sur- veys, throughout the past two years of construction and disrup- tion, remained in the 95th per: centile of total satisfaction. Current Board Chairwoman Jan McCarty reinforced Fried's assessment. "Even through February and March this year, during the flu and pneumonia season when the department was bursting at the seams, they worked selflessly, with dedication and compassion." Joe Hudson, honored with the naming of the wing, and lauded by McCarty for his "legendary benevolence and dedication," also used the occasion to spread credit for the needed expansion. "Thousands of people deserve this honor," said Hudson. "The employees, the board members and the volunteers at Beebe Medical Center are the most dedicated people I know. They ensure that our residents and visitorsget the best." Fried said the Hudson wing is the culmination of a $35 million project that includes a new utili- ties building serving the Lewes campus, and the outpatient facili- ty at the Route 24 campus. Gene Bookhammer, chairman of Beebe Medical Foundation, noted that a professional fundrais- er came to town in 2005 to assess the community's ability to raise funds to help finance the expan- sion. "He told us we would be lucky to raise $6 million," said Bookhammer. 'Well, Mike Clemmer [former executive direc- tor of Beebe Medical Foundation] and this community ended up rais- ing $12 million plus," said Bookhammer. "You did it!" With dedication past, final fur- nishing and outfitting of the units will now proceed so they can open for patients in May. Hospital's humble beginning Beebe Hosp#J, circa 1920. Photo courtesy of Delamre Public ArchiveL In 1916, Beebe Hospital was founded by Dr. James Beebe "and Dr. Richard C. Beebe. Sons of a local merchant and housekeeper, the men shared a goal of introducing modem medicine to a rural area where such services were nonexist- enL Some of the brothers' early emergency operations were per- formed on a kitchen table situated in a nearby farmhouse with instruments sterilized in boiling water on a kettle stove. When the two brothers joined practice, they opened a tiny four-room hospital adjacent to their father's home. It had just enough space for an operating room and two patient rooms, with a total of three beds. SOURCE: J. Beebe R. Beebe