Hospital Keeps Growing to Meet Need - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Hospital Keeps Growing to Meet Need

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WHITEFISH -

North Valley Hospital in Whitefish cut the ribbon on October 15 for its fourth operating room while welcoming five new medical staff members.

Jason Spring, the Hospital's CEO led the ceremony. "We thought it would be fitting to cut this with a scalpel," said Spring.

Even though North Valley Hospital has just officially cut the ribbon for a new operating room, the space has been up and running for a while--so have their five new care providers: one primary care physician, one certified nurse midwife, and three surgeons. The $1.7 million the Hospital has spent since breaking ground in April is all about playing catch-up.

"The hospital was built for about 250 deliveries annually and we're doing close to 500 annually, so we've really outgrown our ob space," said Spring.

Hospital officials say the growth likely will not end there.

"The Affordable Care Act is a little hard to predict," explained Spring, "but we do expect to see growth in people seeking services as they have coverage."

The fourth and newest operating room is the only one equipped with interface outlets, hook-ups for high-tech da Vinci machines used for minimally invasive, laparoscopic surgery, allowing surgeons more mobility, and patients a shorter hospital stay.

"We can do any procedure in this space from robotic to general cases to orthopedic to emt and dental," said Larry Schriver, the surgical service director at North Valley Hospital.

The almost 1,500 square foot addition has fewer cords on the floor because of the interface hook-ups, but other than that, looks pretty similar to the other operating rooms--just making space for a growing need in the Valley.

"We've had a 22% growth over the last four years, and I see another growth of probably another 22% over the next two years," predicted Schriver.

The North Valley Hospital is not-for-profit and funded construction with their own cash reserves.

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