Dale Leishman, Chair of the Biggs-Gridley Memorial Hospital Foundation's Fund Development Committee explained the "Champions Campaign" for two new pieces of equipment for the new ER Department, to Gridley Rotary members last week. The new ER is set to break ground this summer. (Photo by Lisa Van De Hey)

The new Emergency Department for Biggs-Gridley Memorial Hospital will start with a ground breaking ceremony this summer for a total of eight rooms, two will be triage rooms and two of the rooms will have a collapsible wall that can be adapted into one large trauma bay. The new state-of-the-art ER will face Spruce Street and be located on the east side with an ambulance bay at the east end.

The current ER is staffed 24/7 with two nurses and a doctor at all times. Three months ago, the average amount of patients seen was 640 but with January at 762 and February at 806, that average is climbing. It is the fast service that is bringing many to this ER, many from surrounding cities where they are used to waiting at least six hours to just see a physician. Roughly 75 percent of the patients seen in the ER are from the Gridley/Biggs area according to records.

Biggs-Gridley has hired a Hospitalist which means many inpatients who had to be sent to area hospitals can now be admitted here. Over 70 percent of all hospital admissions come through the Emergency Room.

With a brand new ER, comes the need for newer technology and that is where the Biggs-Gridley Memorial Hospital Foundation comes in. The driving force for the "Save The Hospital" campaign and the Digital Mammography purchase, the Foundation is dedicated to raising $1,000,000 to purchase two important pieces of equipment that will be used every day - a new Digital X-Ray machine and a CT Scanner.

The hospital's current 16-slice CT Scanner, although sufficient over the past few years, will be replaced with a new 64 slice CT which can perform the same task in just a few seconds, the images are significantly clearer and more detailed and the patient no longer has to hold their breath for 25 to 40 seconds just for a chest CT, the time it takes the current CT Scanner.

A scan of the entire body will take just 30 seconds and the new CT can gather a high-resolution image of a heart, brain or both lungs in less than five seconds.

For the rest of this story, please pick up a 3/27/2013 edition of the Gridley Herald.