WHEELING - A larger emergency room and increased services for women and children are just some highlights of Wheeling Hospital's new $50 million Tower 5 medical facility, which is set to open today.
"When I came here seven years ago, I did not believe that it would happen this quickly," said the Most Rev. Michael J. Bransfield, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, during the tower's official dedication ceremony Saturday. "I feel that God has shown his face on us.
"This is a great day for the Catholic Church and for West Virginia," Bransfield added.
DEDICATION — The Most Rev. Michael J. Bransfield, bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, officiates Saturday during the dedication ceremony for Wheeling Hospital’s new $50 million Tower 5, which is set to open today.
-- Casey Junkins
Following the ceremony, Bransfield noted the new emergency room is roughly three times larger than the old unit, adding that "modern technology" will help provide better and faster care for patients in need.
"The goal is to move toward single rooms for our patients," said Bransfield, noting that having only one ill patient in a room reduces the risk of infection to other patients or employees.
Bransfield also said much of the original facility will be renovated to continue with the hospital's overall mission of caring for the sick.
During the event, Wheeling Mayor Andy McKenzie said Tower 5 will help the city "increase high quality employment."
"I want to personally thank Bishop Bransfield for his commitment to Wheeling and to the state of West Virginia," McKenzie said.
Ron Violi, Wheeling Hospital chief executive officer, said the construction of Tower 5 is the result of the dedication of the hospital's board of directors.
"Our board - I don't know what to say about them. They have let us do what we needed to do," he said in building the new facility.
The pediatric department at Tower 5 features comfortable accommodations for a parent to stay in one of the 277 private rooms with their child. Laundry and kitchenette facilities are available on the floor for the families. Nine state-of-the-art cribs are located on the floor and windows into the rooms allow nurses to observe patients from the hallway.