CHATOM, Ala. (WKRG) — A new 7,000 square foot facility doesn’t compare to the old 1,200 square foot emergency room at Washington County Hospital & Nursing a home in Chatom. Years of planning and construction have paid off.

“We picked it up and started actively working on it in August of 2016, so it’s with great excitement this day is finally here,” said CEO Teresa Grimes.

Grimes and her staff unveiled the new ER Monday morning. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held in July prior to the opening date. It’s a $4.5 million facility in a county that relies on the one ER for emergencies and immediate care.

“We have patients coming in with heart attacks, strokes and with traumas and our staff is equipped to handle all of it,” said Grimes.

Since 1954 the hospital and county relied on a dated emergency room with old technology and little space to accommodate patients. It’s easy to see how the expansion will benefit everyone who walks through the doors.

“Just the flow and the private entrance coming into the emergency room and having the privacy, the spaces for all the patients in the rooms, the nursing station being centrally located so they can view all patients at all times,” she explained.

Transferring patients to and from the hospital will get easier in the coming months, too. A new helipad will be built on-site thanks to a USDA grant.

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