Hospital will start opening departments on Saturday

The new Wrangell Medical Center is nearing the end of construction and will start a staggered opening on Saturday, with the long-term care unit first on the list and the rehabilitation unit scheduled for a Feb. 3 opening.

"Departments are currently undergoing a phased relocation as finished punch lists are allowing for staggered staff move-ins," according to a press release Monday from SEARHC. "Patients scheduled for rehabilitation, imaging, laboratory or outpatient services will be contacted regarding the timeline of respective move dates."

The laboratory department is to open Feb. 8, imaging on Feb. 11, and then followed the next day by emergency, acute care and outpatient services, SEARHC announced.

"This is a monumental achievement for health care in Wrangell," said Leatha Merculieff, SEARHC vice president and WMC hospital administrator. "The facility will greatly improve our ability to provide high-quality care to our patients and long-term care residents for decades to come."

The new $30 million hospital on Wood Street is a 45,000-square-foot facility attached to the existing Alaska Island Community Services clinic. The new hospital includes 14 beds in the long-term care wing, eight beds in the acute-care wing, and an expanded emergency department, among other improvements.

SEARHC purchased the Wrangell Medical Center from the borough back in 2018, with plans to construct a new facility.


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