East County emergency department switch is Sunday

The Emergency Department and Critical Access Hospital currently located at Mark Reed Hospital in McCleary will move into the new medical center in Elma and hospital services at its emergency department will open noon on Sunday, Feb. 17.

Meantime, Mark Reed will close its Emergency Department and hospital services that same day at noon.

The new facility, known as Summit Pacific Medical Center, is located at 600 East Main Street in Elma.

“We have been working toward this day for many, many months,” Chief Nursing Officer Brenda West said in a news release. “We are confident that we have built and rehearsed an excellent transition plan that will ensure a safe and incident free move. We are in constant communications with all necessary parties and will be partnering with local EMS services to ensure that all patients are transferred safely and appropriately.”

Anyone with emergency needs is encouraged to go to Mark Reed Hospital in McCleary prior to noon, Feb. 17. After that point, all emergency patients will need to go to Summit Pacific Medical Center, the hospital said in a press release.

The new medical center will host a 24/7 Emergency Department, a critical access hospital that is a level II cardiac center, a level III stroke center, and level V trauma care, an expanded Diagnostic Imaging Department and Laboratory. Summit Pacific Medical Center will also house Summit Pacific Healthcare Clinic which will be the hospital district’s third primary care clinic.

The district will continue to operate Mark Reed Healthcare Clinic in McCleary and Elma Family Medicine.

On Friday, the state Department of Transportation will take down the hospital signs on Highway 8 outside of McCleary. Because of the President’s Day holiday, the new signs for the Elma facility won’t go up until Tuesday.

While the old emergency room had one doctor, two nurses and a ward clerk; the new hospital will have someone at the waiting room desk, a coordinator to help facilitate patient needs, a monitor to help take phone calls, one doctor a nurse during busy periods and, if even more help is needed, the hospital will bring in a physician’s assistant or a nurse practitioner to help out.

The new emergency room was specifically built for convenience in mind for both the patients and the staff, West said.

“I’ve been a nurse for 20 years,” West said. “I’ve been around a lot of different facilities and I knew what I didn’t like.”

Mark Reed Healthcare Clinic will remain open and operating under new business hours, Tuesday to Friday, 7:30 a.m.- to 5:30 p.m.