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CMH endoscopy expansion underway (November 16, 2010)

Construction is underway on the $2.7 million project to expand Calvert Memorial Hospital’s endoscopy center and equip it with state-of-the-art technology that will enable physicians to better detect polyps and other early indications of cancer.

“The construction will be done in stages,” said CMH President & CEO Jim Xinis, “in a way that least disrupts patient care and maximizes patient safety.”

Xinis said the expansion is needed to meet the high demand for this service created by the county’s growing senior population. Maryland planning officials are forecasting that the number of local residents 60 and older will more than double by 2030, the second highest growth rate for this age group in the entire state.

Last year, 3,269 endoscopic procedures were performed at Calvert Memorial Hospital. “We were facing a serious shortage of space for the number of people being treated,” he said. “The new, modern facility will enable us to continue to provide the quality care that our patients have come to expect.”

The eight-month project will expand the center from 3,600 to 8,000 square feet, add two more treatment rooms for a total of four and increase the number of recovery bays from five to 11. Additionally, the new layout was designed for optimal patient comfort and privacy.

“We’ve tried to anticipate any potential problems and to make it as convenient as possible for patients and their families during construction,” said Kasia Sweeney, director of public relations. “We certainly appreciate all the community support and understanding in the meantime. We think everyone will be as excited as we are when the new endoscopy center is completed.”

Day-to-day operations will continue as usual, said Barbara Polak, vice president for clinical services, but the staff will be continually adjusting to changes in the space where they work. “Every effort will be made to advise patients ahead of time where to go for services,” she said, “but please be tolerant if there is an unexpected change in the construction plan.”

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