Phase one of a major expansion started this week at the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation. KYUK took a tour and reports that on your next trip to YKHC, you can expect to see some changes inside the hospital.
The kitchen and cafeteria are closed at YKHC, and that's just the beginning.
“Our new kitchen and cafeteria are going in the same location,” said YKHC Director of Facilities Dave Scherer, “so we needed to close them down for a period of time while we do the renovation.”
Many parts of the hospital are going to be switching around. Some of the food preparation will be done off of the property for a while.
“And we’ve prepared all our patient meals in one of our offsite kitchens, or rather one of our treatment centers,” said Scherer, “where we prepare all of the meals for our inpatients and bring those over every day for each meal.”
And for outpatients and anyone else, for the time being, it's going to be what they call "grab and go." The old reception area of the hospital operating room will now serve as a makeshift café and food source, though that part of the operation is not fully operational yet.
From now through May 27, snack meals are available from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. For the time being, they are providing bagged meals as a stopgap while they await one piece of equipment before a tentative opening on May 28. After the 28th, the grab-and-go café will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on weekdays.
The Health Center's main conference room will also be closed soon. It's going to be the new location for blood draw and lab storage. And shortly after the kitchen renovation begins, a temporary diagnostic imaging space will be set up to provide ultrasound and mammography during the renovation closures.
“So we’re doing a lot of empty chair, musical chairs type of work,” Scherer said. “Putting stuff in one area of the hospital so we can close down areas of the hospital.”
Scherer says that they don’t anticipate any disruption of services. Outside the hospital, increased construction traffic has stepped up for the new road development that's needed behind the hospital, and that's just the beginning. Plenty more heavy equipment is on the way.
“We’ve had dump trucks come in frequently through the parking lot over the last few days. We’re setting air handlers on the roof of the hospital, so we’ll be seeing some crane activity and flying some air handlers over the roof,” said Scherer.
With the first barge coming in later this month, Scherer says that there will be a lot of material loading going on in the early part of the summer.