PINCKNEYVILLE — After a 13-year process, Pinckneyville Community Hospital is nearing completion.

The hospital's new location at 5383 Illinois 154 was unveiled Sunday. The new building will replace the current location at 101 N. Walnut St.

Hospital Administrator and CEO Tom Hudgins said workers are still finishing some details inside the building, but the paperwork has been sent to Illinois Department of Public Health. Once that is reviewed, IDPH will schedule a walk-through of the building with the architect, mechanical and electrical engineers and hospital representatives.

If the building passes inspection, IDPH will issue a certificate of occupancy, and the process of moving the hospital will begin.

Staff members are currently surveying the new space to figure out where everything will need to go. Plans are to move the Family Medical Clinic over one weekend to avoid interrupting patient visits. Some equipment requires a two-week notice before moving and then eight or nine days to move.

The new hospital is designed to be convenient for patients. The specialty clinic, Family Medical Center, laboratory, imaging and emergency room are all accessible from the main lobby. Walk a littler farther down the main hall to find the cafeteria and classrooms. Rooms for patients who need admitted to the hospital are at the north end of the hall.

“This is a modern, rural hospital," Hudgins said. “This is a huge leap.”

Hudgins pointed out several amenities in the new space, starting with the emergency room.

The current emergency room is about the size of one of the new ER exam rooms. The ER includes a room accessible from outside the hospital to house disaster supplies, an EMS work room and plenty of space for staff and multiple patients.

“The emergency room is equipped with a decontamination shower just inside the door and a new helipad,” Hudgins said.

The current hospital does not have a place for a helicopter to land. Instead, patients are taken by ambulance to Pinckneyville Community High School and put in the helicopter.

The new surgical suite has operating and procedure rooms and space for multiple patients before and after surgery.

A staff corridor runs parallel to the public corridor and will allow staff to transport patients from imaging, surgery or the lab to patient rooms while avoiding the public.

“We are calling this hallway the house corridor. It will allow us to bring up patients privately,” Hudgins said.

The new inpatient section has 17 beds. The number of hospital beds dropped based the number of patients admitted to the hospital in the past few years. The hospital has a plan for adding patient rooms, if that becomes necessary.

One of the most impressive spaces in the patient area is a large room for equipment with outlets every foot along the walls. Hudgins pointed out that a lot of equipment, such as IV pumps, are battery powered. This new storage area will make sure everything that is not in use will be charging. The outlets are emergency powered, too, as are many of the outlets in the hospital.

“Diesel generators and propane can run the hospital for about 10 days,” Hudgins said.

Oncology features a large room for treatment that will allow patients to talk, but still have private visits with a doctor.

“It will be a very comfortable space,” Hudgins said.



Marilyn Halstead is a reporter covering Williamson County.

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