Last phase of Southport hospital renovation better late than never

-A A +A
By Brian Slattery

When Dosher Memorial Hospital in Southport received $8.5 million in federal funds for facility improvements, it ended a long wait to complete hospital renovations.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development announced in July it will provide Dosher with a low-interest loan to update 25 acute care patient beds.

The $8.5 million covers a large portion of the hospital’s $11.2 million project to renovate its patient care unit, Kirk Singer, director of community relations said.

The hospital will renovate 12,000 square feet of the current building and expand by adding another 6,000 square feet.

According to Singer, the hospital worked for five years to receive the low interest, long-term loan from USDA.

Singer said the patient care unit renovation was the last of three phases of improvement projects at Dosher, adding it was the hardest to accomplish.

“The first part was the reconstruction of the administrative area and the atrium and front lobby. The second part was the expansion and modernization of the operating rooms, the emergency department and diagnostic imaging,” Singer said.

“The patient care unit was third, but when financial times for our area became difficult that was put on hold. It’s a great thing that we can now go forward with modernizing to provide the best care we can for the people of the Smithfield Township area.”

Singer described the expansion as an update to create 25 state of the art private rooms.

“It will add security, privacy and comfort – with the capacity for family members to stay the night with a patient, if needed,” Singer said.

Renovations in 16 rooms will include new mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, new windows, toilet rooms, handwalls and patient care areas.

One new room will be equipped for patient isolation.

Another eight rooms will be newly built and offer larger rooms than the existing facilities with better handicapped accessibility.

Singer added a lot of the technology included in the room will be built in to make the environment pleasant and inviting while also being able to care for each individual one on one.

The rooms will also be WiFi accessible for the patient and family.

All bathrooms will be handicapped accessible.

“This building was originally completed in 1979. There hasn’t been a major renovation since it opened, just cosmetic improvements – paint and wallpaper,” Singer said.

“This allows us to rebuild the area from the ground up so that it meets the needs of today’s patients.”

The renovation adds the 25 private rooms as well as updating the support areas including a totally renovated nurses station, Singer said.

“Everything, from patient rooms to staff support, will be brand new,” Singer said.

Congressman Mike McIntyre, a senior member of the House Agriculture Committee, announced the funding Friday, July 12.

“We very much appreciate the support of the USDA and Congressman McIntyre,” Singer said.

“Singer added that Randall Gore also attended the announcement and said in his comments at the loan announcement that he was born at Dosher Hospital 56 years ago, making the announcement a special day for him.

“He got to be a part of the next step of Dosher Memorial Hospital,” Singer said.

“We’re excited for things to come.”

A start date for the renovation has not been determined but Singer said the hospital administration hopes to break ground in November.

The renovation work is then expected to take between 13 and 15 months.

The new patient care unit was designed by Charlotte architecture firm Peterson and Associates and the construction project will be handled by Rodgers Builders of Charlotte.


Brian Slattery is a staff writer for The Brunswick Beacon. Reach him at 754-6890 or bslattery@brunswickbeacon.com.