Unity Medical Center announced that it opened a 4-bed intensive care unit for patients requiring a higher level of medical care. The ICU is located in a newly renovated space previously used to conduct sleep studies in the hospital located at 481 Interstate Drive. Unity also added a new waiting room and physician consultation area to serve the families of patients in the ICU. This addition represents the first time a Manchester hospital will have an operating ICU since 1982.
“Our physicians and staff have been asking us to consider opening an ICU for past several years since we have had to transfer more acute patients to other facilities instead of taking care of them closer to home,” stated Ashoke “Bappa” Mukherji, Chairman of the Board of Unity. “However, opening an ICU is a substantial commitment of resources and capital and we focused on other projects such as recruiting new physicians and expanding our medical clinics, but the pandemic quickly made us change our priorities. COVID-19 revealed a lack of ICU beds nationally and there were none in Manchester at all.” Unity’s management team decided to open the ICU in February of 2020.
Opening a new ICU in the midst of a global pandemic was not without challenges. “Since the space was not specifically designed to be an ICU, we had to decide how to convert it to meet modern standards. For example, the rooms were a little too small and supply storage space and a family waiting room were lacking,” stated Martha McCormick, Chief Executive Officer of the hospital. “We knew that we could get a waiver from the licensing board for those shortcomings, especially due to the need of additional ICU beds during the pandemic.” She continued, “Ultimately, we decided to reinvest in our community and completely renovate the space to meet all the current requirements for a brand new hospital ICU.” The total cost for the project was approximately $1,000,000 and required ten additional full-time employees to staff the unit.
Kenneth Ware, Unity’s Chief Nursing Officer, reported that the unit was fully functional and had already admitted its first patient. He stated, “I’m incredibly proud of our new unit and all the time and energy our staff has put into it to ensure that we provide top-of-the-line care. All of our medical equipment is state-of-the-art and we have assembled a great team of experienced nurses to care for our patients. It feels good to be able to keep adding new services at the hospital.”
Unity Medical Center is a 49-bed acute care hospital located at 481 Interstate Drive in Manchester that operates two rural health clinics employing over 40 medical providers. Unity Medical Center can be reached by phone at 931-728-6354.