The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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July 31, 2013

Beckley ARH’s renovated fourth floor ready for patients Monday

The fourth floor of Beckley Appalachian Regional Hospital has made a bold step into the 21st century after nine months  and $9 million in renovations, and will welcome patients starting Monday.

As soon as patients and visitors step off of the elevator and onto the fourth floor, the entire atmosphere is different.

A soft green and brown color scheme, selected by the fourth floor staff, can be found in the artwork on the walls, the plush new furniture and even on the floor tiles.

As West Virginia Marketing and Service Excellence Manager at ARH Ted Weigel said, it feels more like a hotel than a hospital.

The 19 private rooms feature WiFi and flat screen televisions, as well as full bathrooms and state-of-the-art beds.

The adjustable beds provide both comfort and safety, Weigel said, as they can be lowered to prevent patient falls.

CEO Rocco Massey said the rooms are spacious, as well as conducive to healing.

From a clinical perspective, he said everything was built with patient safety and the newest technology in mind.

Negative pressure rooms and isolation rooms were built especially to help control and reduce infections, and alarm and oxygen control systems can be found outside the rooms so the staff can monitor room conditions.

“First and foremost, we want a positive patient experience with comfortable and private rooms that promote healing,” Massey said.

In addition to the 19 rooms, other renovations include new heating and air conditioning, new elevators and a new outside facade.

Weigel explained that the new elevators cost about $1 million and they are operated by a hydraulic piston on the bottom instead of a cable from the top, ensuring safety even if the elevators were to break down.

Construction is still under way for the exterior, which will include more energy efficient windows, and the ribbon cutting ceremony is scheduled for Sept. 20 at 11 a.m.

“In 1965, at the time, Beckley ARH was a premiere facility,” Massey said.

Over time, however, the building has become dated and it was in need of some changes and a more “modern look.”

Massey said he is a 32-year employee at Beckley ARH and he was even born there, so the hospital holds a special place in his heart.

“We’re looking at the future in a positive way.”

As for future renovations, Massey said everything is still up in the air, but they do plan to continue to renovate and modernize.

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