When it’s too expensive to build new, one option is to renovate. And that’s exactly what’s happening at Plumas District Hospital.
“Our goal is to provide a refreshed, cohesive look to the hospital and our clinics,” said Dr. Jeff Kepple during a tour of the health care campus last week.
One of the first and most noticeable improvements using Measure A funds is new flooring. Two tones of wood laminate have been laid throughout the hallways, with plans for more rooms to come.
“We want a Sierra theme,” Kepple said of the warm wood tones. “We don’t want to look like a stark, modern hospital.”
It took some careful planning to ensure no disruption for medical staff and patients during the installation.
“We had to make sure we had access 24/7 to the emergency department and operating rooms,” Kepple said.
To date, the new flooring has cost approximately $47,000.
“We were able to save money by putting the new floor on top of the old tile,” he said.
In addition to the new flooring, many of the walls have been repainted, going from a light gray to a warm cream color.
Throughout the tour, Kepple discussed improvements to come such as a revamped lobby, which will alter the flow into the main areas of the hospital, including the nurses’ station.
New signage will soon be installed to help patients navigate the campus with its main hospital, two clinics and the dental clinic across Bucks Lake Road. Hospital officials are working with Wild Hare Signs, a sign company in Quincy.
Weather permitting, local contractor Mike Smith will install new siding this week.
Another local contractor, Thom Hall, will be renovating patient bathrooms.
In addition to the physical space, the hospital is also integrating a new marketing plan. Biography cards are being printed so that patients can learn more about their health care providers.
“We want people to know their doctor as their neighbor,” said Leann Kennedy, the hospital’s community relations coordinator.
In addition to biographical information, the card contains the physician’s philosophy in patient care.
Appointment cards are also new and are specific to each physician.
Patients will continue to see improvements throughout the hospital campus in the weeks and months to come.
Voters passed Measure A in 2008, a property tax initiative intended to fund the design and construction of a new hospital. Subsequently, the voters passed Measure B, which capped the allowed property tax for the hospital at $50 per $100,000. Plumas District recently issued a new round of the funding, with property owners paying $45 per $100,000 of assessed value.