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Tarhe Trail Flyer

​​​​​Several non-clinical departments of Wyandot Memorial Hospital will move to Tarhe Trail to free up on-site space for priority patient services and alleviate parking issues during the upcoming surgery construction project.

Wyandot Memorial purchased the building at 245 Tarhe Trail owned by First Federal Bank and is planning to relocate offices and staff starting in July. Among the departments moving to the Tarhe Trail building are Patient Financial Services, Medical Records, Public Relations and Marketing, Information Technology and the home base for Wyandot On Wheels mobile health services.

“The Tarhe Trail building is a great fit for these departments, especially IT,” noted WMH President and CEO Ty Shaull. “The data center this building previously housed provides ample temperature and security controls for our growing computer and connectivity needs.”

The generator was also a selling point, for it enables the IT staff to support the electronic health records, diagnostic interfaces and other hospital software without interruption.

“IT infrastructure used to be a luxury and now it’s a requirement,” explained IT Director Dean Lehman. “The hospital is like most businesses that need a digital infrastructure to handle day-to-day operations, and we need most of those systems up and running around the clock.”

Lehman said his department not only keeps the patient records accessible and secure, but is also charged with maintaining important links to telehealth partners, such as the specialists at Riverside Radiology and the stroke program at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

Shaull reported the hospital board originally considered adding space on its campus to accommodate the growing need for more clinical services and support functions, but the cost was prohibitive.

“When we build on site, we must adhere to hospital construction specifications,” he said. “The healthcare planning experts helping us with our master plan estimated that our cost to build would be approximately $350 per square foot.”

Upon hearing that figure, Shaull indicated the board pulled back on the construction project to focus on the hospital’s immediate needs for extra operating rooms and outpatient surgery rooms.

The surgery suite construction project includes an addition adjacent to the hospital’s north side and the renovation of existing surgery spaces. It entails operating rooms, central sterile and combined prep/recovery spaces for patients, and requires relocation of the north patient, visitor and employee entrance. The north parking lot will also be re-configured and the helipad relocated in accordance with FAA standards. The construction budget of $7,500,000, will be funded by the generous bequest the hospital received from former patient and area farmer Norman Gottfried. In honor of his thoughtful gift and his wish to help others, the new addition will be named the Norman Gottfried Surgery Center.

With construction of the surgery addition scheduled to begin this fall, the hospital board and administration investigated options for maintaining patients’ easy access to medical services.

“Parking alone was going to be a big concern,” commented Plant Operations Director Abel Walton. “We sometimes have limited spaces available now on our busier days, so tossing earth-moving equipment and a building addition into the mix was going to make it even more challenging.”

Walton said the move of support services staff members to the Tarhe Trail building will free up about 40 parking spaces, which will allow the hospital to keep patient parking closer to key entrances.

Two staff members not relocating due to their frequent interaction with patients are the cashiers with Patient Financial Services. The cashiers will remain on site at the hospital in their location near the main lobby.

Two members of the IT staff are also staying on campus for quick trouble-shooting of computer hardware and software. Lehman will manage them from the Tarhe Trail location and plans to communicate via applications designed for remote workers in other industries.

Lehman will be one of the first staffers to move in July, and others should be in place well before mid-August. The areas vacated on campus will be re-assigned to clinical services appropriate for those locations.

“Acquiring the Tarhe Trail building really enables us to grow as our community’s medical needs change,” Shaull stated. “We’re unable to expand beyond our seven acres right here, so we want to make the best use of our land for today’s patients, as well as think strategically for services that might be expanded or added 5, 10, 15 years down the road.”

The building at 245 Tarhe Trail was constructed in 2005 and has been vacant since First Federal acquired Commercial Savings Bank two years ago. The hospital purchased it at a cost of under $57 per square foot – much less than the price-tag associated with building additional space for support services on the hospital campus.