Weekly newspaper of Three Rivers, California, and Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks

Kaweah Delta Hospital in Visalia has one of two emergency rooms in Tulare County.

Kaweah Delta's ER undergoes major expansion

Michael Seib


Over the next two years, the only trauma center between Fresno and Bakersfield will be getting a needed upgrade. One of the busiest in California, Kaweah Delta Medical Center’s Emergency Department is spending $32.8 million to add space, medical staff, and efficiency to care for the region’s growing population.
Along with newly appointed CEO and former senior vice president Gary Herbst, the KDMC board of directors approved funding the project with proceeds from the 2015 sale of $100 million in revenue bonds.  
Originally designed to support treatment for 72,000 patients annually, the ED now serves approximately 90,000 patients each year and is one of two EDs serving the nearly half a million residents of  Tulare County. 
“Our biggest problem is treatment space,” said Dan Allain, chief nursing officer. “We have been looking forward to this for 10 years.”
Emergency Department beds will increase from 41 to 74.  The waiting area, which currently accommodates about 65 people, will comfortably seat 100.  Square footage will be doubled.
The new layout is intended to streamline patient care with a FastTrack area. Patients with non-emergency needs will be immediately screened, allowing emergency staff to focus on more life-threatening situations.  
The oft-overcrowded Mineral King waiting area will be closed from December 4 through 16 during the first stage of construction. An alternative entrance will be located immediately adjacent (north) of the current entrance during the expansion. 
An area currently used for storage will be remodeled and a new building added adjacent (north) of the present emergency department. 
All hospital services will remain open during construction.  More information and updates can be found at www.KaweahDelta.org/ED.