Above: Members of the Mountain Home VA Medical Center leadership team and staff join with those who helped complete the new 13-room ICU project for a ceremonial ribbon cutting. PHOTO BY DAVE ONGIE
By Dave Ongie
It’s been a long time coming, but the new 15,000-square-foot Intensive Care Unit unveiled inside the Mountain Home VA Medical Center last week appears to be well worth the wait.
Members of the staff at the VA Medical Center joined dignitaries and veterans for a ribbon cutting inside the new ICU last Friday. Patients were expected to be moved into the new ICU on March 14.The new space will allow staff at the hospital to better serve the veterans who find themselves in need of the 13-room facility, which boasts technology that is light years beyond what is available in the hospital’s current ICU. Dean Borsos, the Medical Center Director of the Mountain Home VA Healthcare System, said technology that will allow veterans to have access to specialists all over the country is a huge step into a brighter future.
“One example of the innovative technology in the rooms is the tele-ICU capability,” he said. “This will allow our rooms to connect with other specialty providers at VA medical centers around the country to facilitate comprehensive coverage and care.”
The medical center on the campus of Mountain Home is currently partnering with the Cincinnati VA Medical Center to give veterans the best care possible. Dan Snyder, the Associate Medical Care Director at Mountain Home, described the medical resources patients now have at their disposal thanks to the technology in each room.“Although we have doctors on staff in the ICU 24/7, we’ll actually have specialists with eyes on all of our patients 24/7 in Cincinnati,” Snyder said. “The specialists are just a push of the button away if anyone has a question about a patient. That’s a huge step forward.”
Snyder said it took roughly two years to get approval for the new ICU, award the contract, and get the new facility built. The challenge during that stretch was to maintain a high level of care in the old ICU – which served veterans well for about 20 years.
“We’ve been very proud of it, but it was in need of replacement,” Snyder said. “We’re excited about getting moved into the new ICU.”