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DCH emergency department renovation on track

IRON MOUNTAIN — An emergency department renovation at Dickinson County Healthcare System remains on schedule with a mid-September reopening date, said Chuck Nelson, DCH president and CEO.

Nelson updated the hospital board on the $1 million project during a meeting April 22. It includes a complete renovation of more than 10,000 square feet of patient care area, including private care rooms with breakaway glass, negative pressure treatment rooms, a respiratory care suite and two triage rooms to address the most urgent care needs. A new waiting area is part of the work as well.

Emergency care continues without interruption during construction.

In other news, Nelson said the DCH orthopedic team now offers four providers, with surgeon Dr. Jack Sproul seeing patients. Sproul’s addition brings shoulder surgery and shoulder repair procedures to the community.

The board approved employment agreements for Clint Pakkala, nurse practitioner for orthopedic services; Dr. Pietro Molinari, for emergency department services; and Radiology Associates of Iron Mountain for radiology services.

Brian Donahue, CFO, reported that March was an excellent rebound from a slow start to the year. Inpatient volumes were down but all other areas show a positive trend. Net income from operations for the month totaled $335,707, with 88 days cash on hand.

Volumes for April continue to follow March’s numbers as outpatient services continue to grow.

Board Chairwoman Margaret Minerick read a patient testimonial as a young man’s family thanked DCH and staff for the care and compassion their son received while being treated for COVID-19. The boy, now recovered, spent several days in intensive care and the parents expressed their gratitude.

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