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GLENS FALLS -- Renovation of a section of Glens Falls Hospital for a new surgical unit named in memory of Dr. Harry M. “Mac” DePan is nearing completion.

“It hasn’t been without its challenges, but it’s all gone pretty much according to plan,” said Ron Zimmerman, the hospital’s vice president of plant operations and support services.

A public open house is scheduled from noon to 3 p.m. July 15, and the hospital will begin using the new surgical unit shortly thereafter.

Workers last week were laying floor tile and constructing closets in the 27 new private rooms of the 35-year-old 4 West inpatient unit.

The surgical care unit previously had semi-private rooms.

“There have been studies that show that when patients have a private room, the recovery is faster,” said Sandra DiNoto, the hospital’s vice president of philanthropy and community relations.

Private rooms provide more confidentiality, more space for equipment and more room for family to visit patients, hospital officials have said.

Some of the rooms will be equipped with cardiac monitoring equipment, so patients with a history of heart ailments can recuperate in the surgical unit instead of the intensive care unit.

Other features will be a day room with wireless Internet access and a new nurses station with improved information technology.

“This will be a new nursing station, kind of a central area on the floor,” DiNoto said, as she pointed out the nursing station area on a construction tour last week.

Zimmerman said patients, visitors and staff on various floors of the west wing have been understanding as construction crews worked to install new plumbing and utility service to the newly renovated unit.

“Through all that we have been able to keep our schedule, and so far are meeting budget as well,” he said.

The project also included a full roof replacement over the west wing, which was not originally planned.

“When we fully opened it up, we learned that the roof itself on the west building was in probably a little worse shape than we had anticipated,” he said.

The $2.3 million cost of the project was paid for largely through private contributions.

The hospital raised about $1.875 million in contributions, $125,000 short of a $2 million goal, DiNoto said.

“The Charles R. Wood Foundation was a significant supporter, but there were many families, individuals, foundations and companies who came forward with generous support,” she said.

The day room will be named in honor of Jackie and John Buchanan.

Other patient rooms will be named in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Richard O. Mead, the DePan and Herlihy families, and Joan Buckley.

The hospital is publishing a biography of Dr. Harry H. “Mac” DePan, which will be released around the time the surgical center opens.

DePan, a longtime local surgeon, died in 2010.


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