A $29.3 million expansion of Carson Valley Medical Center has been approved by the state. The 44,000-square-foot project at the hospital campus at 1107 Highway 395 North will expand the emergency room from five to 12 beds, increase the operating room from two limited rooms to three full-sized rooms, and add two procedure rooms, among other upgrades. With the recent approval from the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, work is expected to begin in September of this year, according to CVMC, with completion estimated by October 2023 and certification by December 2023. In a letter of support of the project, Chief Hospitalist Dr. Trevor Phan said the expansion is important to deal with the increase in patients over the past several years. “Currently, half of the hospital rooms are double-occupancy,” he said. “In order to arrange two patients in one room, we have to make sure they are compatible in many aspects, like gender or medical problems.”
He pointed out that with the coronavirus outbreak, the need for single rooms has been even more critical in order to isolate patients. “Expanding the hospital and converting all the double rooms into single rooms we will no doubt provide patients with better care and improve patients’ experience,” Dr. Phan wrote. Douglas County Economic Vitality Manager Lisa Granahan said the Carson Valley’s population of residents 65 and older is expected to grow by 13.6%, faster than the general population. “The demographics of our community make this expansion critical to being able to serve our population,” she said. “Adequate availability of healthcare is important to businesses looking to expand or relocate to our community. It is considered essential and expected by our residents, many of whom are very active and enjoy outdoor recreation, even as they age.” East Fork Fire Protection District Chief Tod Carlini said many Valley residents prefer local levels of service. “Their family and friends hope that treatment and service can remain local, negating long drives to other regional facilities,” he said. “The project will also expand regional capacity and service, as well. As we have seen, the impacts of a global pandemic draw no boundaries when it comes to hospital services and capacity.” According to CVMC, the expansion will have no financial impacts to patient healthcare costs. The project is estimated to create 100-150 temporary construction jobs.
Long-term, while CVMC currently employs more than 460+ employees, the expansion would “increase staffing needs by up to 20% in a wide range of backgrounds and expertise,” according to the project. NNBW Editor Kevin MacMillan contributed to this report.