Healthcare Center completes renovation project to curb virus spread

The waiting room is complete with activities and games for kids.

A $3.1 million renovation project aimed at preventing the spread of viruses at the Johnson County Healthcare Center is complete.

The project was made possible through federal CARES act funds allocated to the state of Wyoming for costs incurred due to the coronavirus pandemic. Funds were specifically assigned to Wyoming health care providers, rural health care districts, hospital districts and health care facilities to respond to the pandemic and to improve the state’s health care delivery system and infrastructure, including major renovations.

The Johnson County Healthcare Center applied for the funds through the Wyoming State Lands and Investment Board, which approved the request in August, giving crews five months to complete the project.

“We’re extremely grateful for this critical funding from the State that enhances our ability to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases,” said Sean McCallister, Johnson County Healthcare Center CEO. “The healthcare center team worked hand-in-hand with architects, contractors and the state to successfully complete all four projects within a very short time period.”

The newly remodeled waiting room includes an area for families and medical staff to discuss patient care in private.

The renovation included replacing five large rooftop air handler units and remodeling the visitor waiting room, surgery patient recovery, family restroom and sterile processing areas inside the facility.

The new air handlers, which are the size of railroad cars, are state-of-the-art units that pump filtered air throughout the facility and are sized to accommodate future remodels.

The patient recovery area, visitor waiting room, family restroom and sterile processing areas all received a facelift. They now provide more privacy, surfaces that are easier to disinfect, additional space to spread out and improved barriers between patients. The sterile processing department now includes a new larger capacity washer and passthrough window, which further prevents the spread of infection.

The hospital is also now equipped with four negative pressure rooms to help stop the spread of viruses. A negative pressure room helps contain airborne contaminants, including viruses and bacteria.

“These projects improve COVID prevention measures, such as our internal air quality, disinfection practices, instrument sterilization and social distancing,” McCallister said.

Another view of the newly remodeled waiting room.

Dan Odasz, president of Plan One Architects, told the Johnson County Hospital District Board of Trustees at their Jan. 28 meeting that he was pleased with the renovation and was happy to be presenting the finished project.

“The resiliency of the staff was amazing,” Odasz said. “They not only worked through a pandemic, but also a remodel.”

The Johnson County Hospital District Board of Trustees toured the newly remodeled areas at their January board meeting.