Providence adds dining, activity space to extended care center
The great room features windows with lower sills to allow improved views for wheelchair-using residents, facility officials said. The area also has six dining tables seating four people each as an alternative to the dining room. An entertainment center also is part of the room. An adjacent nursing support area allows ready care.
The 224-bed facility is the largest long-term care facility in Alaska.
Valley installs new MRI
Valley Hospital Medical Center in Wasilla began serving patients in January with a new magnetic resonance imaging system. The Phillips Intera MRI replaces the former system, which was purchased a decade ago, hospital officials said.
The Wasilla hospital announced plans to acquire the new system last spring, and the MRI was installed in late 2000.
MRI scans use computers and magnetic fields to create pictures of the human anatomy similar to X-rays but without radiation, hospital officials said.
The hospital also has purchased other imaging equipment for the Wasilla campus, including a new General Electric nuclear medicine unit and new ultrasound equipment. In February, patients will be served by a new Lunar Bone Densitometer, which aids in the diagnosis of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
State opens new public health facility
Alaska officials have opened the new state public health laboratory and office of the state medical examiner in Anchorage. The Department of Health and Social Services christened the facility in late January.
The 37,500-square-foot, $18.4 million facility replaces previous facilities, which were unsuited to tasks performed by the lab workers and the medical examiner. Anchorage-based firms provided design and construction work.
Workers at the Alaska Public Health Laboratory will help investigate, control and treat disease outbreaks. The new state-of-the-art facility improves the department’s ability to detect, diagnose and control communicable diseases in Alaska. It also has a biosafety level three suite, which enables infectious disease specialists to safely work with highly contagious diseases like tuberculosis and botulism.
The medical examiner’s office supports the justice and public health surveillance by providing forensic pathology services to determine cause of death in suspicious or unattended deaths. The new facility provides a safer and more efficient work environment and will reduce stress on family members of the deceased by providing video-viewing capabilities.
New emergency entrance opens
Valley Hospital in Palmer has completed remodeling and relocated its emergency department. The new area features a larger waiting room and more confidential admitting areas. The new design separates patient services and public corridors so walk-in patients will enter separately from trauma patients arriving via ambulance.
The relocated emergency department opened Feb. 13. The new entrance is the same one used to enter the Family Birthing Center and includes a covered drop-off area.