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Lexington Medical Center celebrates opening of new patient care tower last Thursday with ribbon cutt

West Columbia, S.C. (Amy Eberflus) - Lexington Medical Center hosted a celebration on Thursday afternoon to dedicate the hospital’s new patient care tower. The newest addition is 545,000 square feet, the largest hospital expansion in South Carolina history. The celebration began at 5:00 p.m. inside the tower’s atrium.

The official ribbon cutting ceremony was well-attended with numerous medical staffers in attendance as well as invited dignitaries. The event started with an invocation from Pastor Gwen Riley, a member of the staff at LMC. Then, LMC’s CEO Tod Augsburger welcomed everyone to the campus and made the opening remarks on behalf of the hospital. He pointed out that the Lexington Medical Center is integral to our community. Augsburger said, “The hospital’s mission is to meet the health needs of our community, and we’re committed to taking care of our families, friends and neighbors. We look forward to this new tower serving the people of the Midlands for many years to come.”

After Augsburger spoke, he passed the microphone to the hospital’s new board chair Dr. Tripp Jones who made his own remarks followed by past board chair Mr. Richard Westbrook and hospital Chief of Staff Dr. Bob Silverio who also made remarks. When this portion of the event ended, guests were able to participate in tours of the brand new operating rooms, patient rooms, and the nursery areas.

According to LMC staff, the first patients will be treated in the new tower on Tuesday, March 26, 2019.They will certainly notice that the new tower is much different than anything there before. It features patient rooms, operating rooms, educational space for staff and community members, enhanced dining options, as well as expanded Labor and Delivery, and Mother/Baby departments.

Six floors of Lexington Medical Center’s new patient care tower accommodate medical, critical care and surgical patients. Not only does the hospital operate one of the busiest emergency departments in the state, it is one of the busiest surgical hospitals in South Carolina, performing more than 20,000 surgeries last year. Lexington Medical Center built eight operating rooms in the new tower and expanded its surgical recovery area.

Lexington Medical Center now delivers an even better patient experience for expectant families. More than 3,300 babies are delivered at LMC each year and the hospital is consistently recognized as one of the best maternity hospitals in South Carolina. Since opening in 1971, Lexington Medical Center has delivered more than 100,000 babies.

The new Labor and Delivery unit has a dedicated area for patients who come to the hospital in labor or those who need temporary evaluation. There are six antepartum rooms for patients who may need extensive long-term monitoring, a completely dedicated Mother/Baby unit for postpartum patients, a Level 2 Special Care Nursery and a Newborn Nursery.

One of the best features of the new tower is the 20-bed Special Care Nursery. The hospital’s tiniest patients have private rooms, which is a new model of care for Lexington Medical Center. Research has shown that private rooms for special care infants provide more bonding opportunities for mothers and their babies. This leads to better outcomes for babies’ growth and lowers infection rates.

A new parking garage adds more than 950 parking spaces. The three-year project also included the expansion and addition of support spaces, such as a physician on-call area, indoor and outdoor dining options, and an education conference center.

According to Lexington Medical Center Public Relations Manager Jennifer Wilson, LMC is one of Lexington County’s largest employers with over 7,000 people on staff. This expansion will require an increase of between 150 and 200 new employees. Additionally, the expansion cost $400 million dollars, $130 million of that was spent right here in South Carolina. Of the $130 million, $100 million alone was spent just in the Midlands.

Wilson also said that LMC has a tremendous impact on the community beyond its campus. She pointed out that by partnering with area businesses, their non-profit foundation gives scholarships and donations to fill the needs of various community projects and programs. They also help to provide funding for some patient medical needs and equipment upgrades that may not be included in the annual budget of the facility.

Wilson said in the future the Lexington Medical Center will continue to meet the needs of the community as it grows at a tremendous pace. Previously able to house and care for 438 patients, this expansion will initially add 71 rooms. According to Wilson, the hospital is growing in phases. The licensing is a process controlled by a state agency through Certificates of Need. There are plans to add more rooms or areas as needs increase. “The entire 10th floor is a shell ready for expansion in the future,” Wilson said.

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