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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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St. Joseph employees sign off on trauma center expansion

Raquel+Almanza%2C+a+nurse+at+St.+Joseph+Hospital+in+Bryan%2C+signs+the+largest+steel+beam+that+will+be+installed+for+the+Emergency+and+Trauma+center
Photo by Tim Lai

Raquel Almanza, a nurse at St. Joseph Hospital in Bryan, signs the largest steel beam that will be installed for the Emergency and Trauma center

Community members and hospital workers were invited to St. Joseph Regional Health Center Wednesday to sign a beam that will be used as the latest edition to the construction of the new trauma center.

The new trauma center, scheduled to be completed in March 2016, will be able to house patients in the region coming from 12 different locations as far as Houston, Austin and Temple, TX.

“We are expanding our Emergency and Trauma Center because our volume has grown and our capabilities have grown so we need a facility that will be able to house all of these new services and patients that we are serving,” said Kathy Krusie, CEO of the Bryan hospital.

Steven Crichton, Vice President of Support Services, said meetings take place weekly and monthly in order to ensure that everyone is on the same page with the construction project.

“We are working with Vaughn Construction as the general contractor of this job and KGA out of Austin is the architect on record for the project,” Crichton said. “We have been working with them for going on two years now with this project, so we have been working on this for a long time before we actually started doing construction on the site.”

Crichton said because construction has already begun, the beam signed Wednesday is not the ground-breaking piece, but is one of the last pieces of the structural portion of the project.

“This piece of steel is actually going to be a part of a new elevator tower that will be the way that the folks from this new emergency and trauma center will access all of the patient floors and what-have-you in the med-tower,” Crichton said. “So, what we are doing today is letting everybody who wants to be able to leave something as a permanent part of this building gets to sign that piece of steel.”

Vincent Ohaju, Trauma Medical Director, said the facility is a Level 2 trauma center, the highest level of trauma center in the region.

“Right now, obviously, we are taking care of the sickest patients that are involved in a motor vehicle crash, stab wounds or gunshot wounds that come to our facility,” Ohaju said. “But it will have more rooms, ability to do a lot of interventions. It will also be a great opportunity for families to be around in a more comfortable environment that is perhaps not available at this point.”

Krusie said if it were not for this facility, patients would have to travel two to three hours to seek the care they need.

“We are equipped with the medical staff, the emergency physicians, surgeons of all specialties as well as nurses and other technicians to be able to be available to take care of patients 24/7,” Krusie said. “Whether it is the middle of the night or the weekend. Whatever time of the day or night to be able to take care of patients and provide that life-saving treatment.”

Krusie said up until the center is completed, community members can look on the hospital website to see the updates on progress.

“We have a webcam, so if people want to go online and watch,” Krusie said. “There is time-lapse photography, so you can see the progress of the construction over time.”

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