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Keesler Medical Center set to begin $74M renovation project

Keesler Air Force Base

Keesler Air Force Base

BILOXI — Construction is ready to begin on Keesler Medical Center’s $74 million renovation project.

Officials expect the work to modernize health care delivery and enhance the overall patient experience for the Keesler Air Force base community.

Col. (Dr.) Tom Harrell, 81st Medical Group commander, said, “The renovation will offer our beneficiaries a pleasing ambiance and, by locating clinics and ancillary services in a logical layout, allow them easier access to care.”

Awarded in August 2013, the project is expected to finish in mid-2017.

The design-build team of J.E. Dunn Construction Company and Hoefer Wysocki Architecture, working with the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, Air Force Medical Service and the 81st Medical Group, is now in the final design development stage.

A major part of the project is a new hybrid operating room capable of accommodating all types of surgery, including the latest technology in minimally invasive surgery and cardiology procedures. In addition, two new operating rooms will be added to match the other ORs built post-Hurricane Katrina. There will also be a bronchoscopies, colonoscopies and endoscopies.

Another major aspect of the new design incorporates the entire dental clinic within the walls of the hospital and creates a complete dental service within the confines of the medical building.

The design includes layouts for better patient access to the clinics, improved aesthetics in departments and hallways and more open waiting areas serving multiple departments. The goal is to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere similar to the aesthetics in the private sector.

Before construction begins, a series of moves will take place to create vacant space for demolition and to pave the way for the new improved design. The resource management office and multi-service market office move in early November from their current location on the medical center’s fifth floor to nearby Arnold Hall.

Both departments remain in Arnold Hall until construction is completed in mid-2017. As plans are finalized for relocation of other clinics and services, information will be provided via news articles and flyers posted in public and staff locations. J.E. Dunn began moving onto Keesler Oct. 6 and demolition in vacated areas is scheduled to start in December.

Progress updates will be published at least quarterly to keep staff and patients informed during the renovation process.

Temporary directional aids will be in place for all displaced departments during construction and the interactive facility maps around the medical center will be updated as moves occur.

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