'It's gorgeous:' Casper woman Eloise McKee is first patient on our new surgical floor

By Kristy Bleizeffer Nov 11, 2014

While we're not sure congratulations are in order, we are happy to welcome Eloise McKee, our first official surgical patient in the Jerry Behrens MD Orthopaedic, Spine and General Surgery Center. We moved surgical patients on Sunday, completing full occupancy of our McMurry West Tower.

Eloise McKee, 83, was the first patient on our new surgical floor. She is surrounded by Wyoming Medical Center staff shortly after her move to the new floor on Sunday.

Eloise McKee, 83, was the first patient on our new surgical floor. She is surrounded by Wyoming Medical Center staff shortly after her move to the new floor on Sunday.

McKee, 83, got the very first room on the floor. "It's gorgeous. I mean, it's a hospital room, but it's so much bigger and lighter and roomier," she said.

Staff started on Saturday by moving equipment and furnishings from nine empty rooms. Early Sunday, they started moving patients one at a time. Our IT and engineering teams moved electronics and other equipment first and set it up in the new room. Patients followed with their nurses, and each floor, old and new, was staffed with nurses to protect continuity of care. In fact, more clinical staff showed up to help than they needed, said Connie Coleman, nurse manager of the surgical unit.

"I feel relieved that we are moved," said Coleman noting that the hospital has been planning for the new building for more than two years. "It's exciting. The patients love the private rooms and have been commenting on how nice it is to be able to shut their doors when they want to. It's pretty, just nice and pleasant to the eye."

McKee was moved by 8:45 a.m. Sunday and staff gathered around to snap some photos. McKee insisted the snap a few on her iPhone so she could share them on Facebook.

McKee first came to us for emergency surgery Nov. 3.  She first stayed in ICU, then went to the surgical floor in the Central Tower, then had a brief stint on the heart unit, back to the Central surgical floor and, on Sunday, she transferred to the McMurry West Tower.

"I've been around, but I've enjoyed the ride," she said. "Nurse Kristy (Kellch) has been outstanding. Just always very caring and patient."

McKee was scheduled to transfer to a  transition center today until she's able to go home.

She's lived in Casper since 1953 and has been treated many times at Wyoming medical Center: "I've always gotten good care."

The Jerry Behrens, M.D., Orthopedic, Spine and General Surgery Center takes up the entire fourth floor of the McMurry West Tower at Wyoming Medical Center. It features 25 private patient rooms, three bariatric patient rooms, an orthopedic rehabilitation gym and therapeutic tub training area. This comprehensive surgical floor is designed to centralize treatments and shorten recovery times.

Read more about Dr. Behrens in "West Tower Rising: 27 years after losing her father in Vietnam, woman forms friendship with the Casper surgeon who identified his remains." Or, read more about what the new McMurry West Tower means for you. 

 

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