GLOUCESTER, Va. – Riverside Walter Reed Hospital's new intensive care unit opened to patients this morning.  Directors, physicians, supervisors and staff of the hospital welcomed the first patient transferred from the current ICU to the new state-of-the-art 8 bed, private room ICU at approximately 5:45 a.m. Tuesday morning. The patients were moved through the new patient transportation corridor providing greater privacy and ease of use for patient transportation. Transfer of patients was completed at 7:25 a.m.

The ICU has been enlarged from 3,000 to 12,000 square feet. It adds an eighth critical care patient room and transitioned four rooms into transitional areas designed for patients who require additional attention during their hospital stay. It put technologically advanced patient monitoring and private bathrooms in every room and increased privacy and space for patients and family members.

It was an all-hands-on-deck approach as physicians and staff from the Emergency Department, Respiratory Services, IT, Maintenance and Materials Management among others worked quickly and efficiently for a seamless transition. This teamwork ensured there was no disruption in patient care or service.

"This is a great day for our hospital, patients, staff and community. This addition allows us to care for patients with higher need levels, enabling more patients to remain close to home to receive care. It supports our mission within the community to care for others as we would care for those we love," said Megan Kleckner, Vice President/Administrator Riverside Walter Reed Hospital. "My sincere thanks to all involved in bringing this project to completion and making the patient transition a success."

Along with the patient transition, the first family members were welcomed to the J. Doswell Dutton Family Care Center. This comfortable area for families to rest and refresh during a loved one's extended stay was made possible by a generous gift from the late J. Doswell Dutton and matched by donations from local businesses and individuals in the community. It is a welcome addition for those it brings comfort to.

Published: January 8, 2013