Behind the Scenes Look at Merced's New Mercy Medical Center

FRESNO, Calif. The $260-million dollar hospital is set to open in less than two weeks. Officials say the facility is coming in right on budget and right on time, and now they're busy preparing for the big move.

This seven story hospital is filled with nearly 200 beds in spacious rooms ... many with impressive views from what's now the tallest building in Merced County. Mercy Medical Center officials say it's designed to give patients and their families top notch care in a comfortable setting.

Mercy Medical Center President, David Dunham said, "We've built it as a very patient focused and patient centered facility. We're very committed to the healing environment, you're going to see a lot of open spaces, and we have a couple of healing gardens, all the rooms are set up to be used in a private way."

The new facility also features a family birthing center that has a neonatal intensive care unit right next to the two surgical suites so babies in distress can quickly be treated. And the rooms are set up to keep mothers and their newborns together as much as possible.

Family Birth Center Director, Rebecca Ables said, "The resuscitation equipment for the baby is present in the room. The babies never need to leave mom, unless they need intensive care or something other than that, they're all right here with moms to keep the family together."

The hospital also has a helipad on site and a separate pavilion for outpatient services. Residents say it's a major upgrade from the current Mercy Medical Center in South Merced that's overcrowded and outdated.

Stan Mollart said, "Well we just got mom out, she spent a few days here and she's going to wind up going to Fresno for a heart surgery that with the new hospital coming on line she'd be able to do here in town."

The new facility may also be used by students from the proposed U.C. Merced Medical School. And hospital officials say it will help attract more physicians and even other businesses to the area.

"When any industry looks at relocating they always ask about the schools, the educational level of the workforce, and they always ask about health care," said Dunham.

Hospital officially opens May 2nd
Public Preview Day
Saturday, April 24, 2010
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Location: Corner of G St. and Mercy Ave.

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