SALISBURY – Peninsula Regional Medical Center (PRMC) began on Monday a three-year journey to transform the shore’s largest hospital into a more safe and efficient facility for the region.
On Monday morning, PRMC broke ground for the expansion and renovation of the operating rooms that make up the Surgical Services Department.
“It is a great day to begin a process for us at PRMC. As many of you know, we have been waiting for close to 10 years to dig this dirt,” PRMC President Dr. Peggy Naleppa said. “We are embarking on a three-year project with one goal in mind, to better serve the patients in our community and in the Delmarva region.”
The project will dramatically increase the size of PRMC’s operating rooms. Each operating room will be enlarged from 400 square feet to 600 or more, and four of them will be 800 square feet. There are 16 operating rooms in the Medical Center’s Surgical Services Department. The original rooms were constructed 35 years ago.
“This renovation will bring our operating rooms into the 21st century,” Naleppa said. “It is an investment in the future of our hospital and in the community we are privileged to serve.”
PRMC’s expansion will allow greater access to the da Vinci Surgical System Robot, which permits surgeons to perform minimally invasive and robotic prostate, bariatric and GYN surgery with a precision not before possible with even the most skilled human hand. The da Vinci robot is only able to be accommodated in two of the current operating rooms.
According to David Rommel, campaign co-chairman of the PRMC Foundation, the foundation has reached the $1 million mark of the $3 million campaign in support of the operating room renovation.
“My campaign co-chair, Leighton Moore, and I will do everything we can to ensure we reach the $3 million goal,” Rommel said. “We sincerely believe in this project and the need to create the best possible environment for our surgeons and their patients. I am sure the community will support this effort.”
The estimated cost of the project is almost $18 million. It will include the construction of a two-story, 17,520-square-foot addition to the existing Surgical Services Department to accommodate the larger ORs, and renovation of 13,300 gross square feet of existing hospital space. Heating, ventilation, air conditioning and power upgrades are also included.
‘The Department of Surgery eagerly anticipates this renovation as a critical step in allowing us to continue to lead the region in surgical advancement and perform bigger surgeries with smaller incisions using superior technology,” said Department of Surgery Assistant Chief Dr. Mark Edney, who added the project will not disrupt any surgical services.
Phase one, the construction of four operating rooms and a supply room, will take 12 to 18 months. During the second phase, existing OR’s will be dismantled and replaced in steps so as not to disrupt scheduling, which will take 24 to 32 months to complete.
The overall layout of the project is so efficient that it will increase the footprint of the OR by 41% while increasing staff walk time by only 3%.
More than 19,000 surgical procedures are performed every year at PRMC.
“We want to see the medical center continue to be one of the safest hospitals in America,” PRMC Board of Trustees Chair Marty Neat said. “We want the medical center to be able to grow along with the community and respond to its needs with the best care possible. This renovation of the surgical services department will help achieve that goal.”