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CentraCare Health – Monticello

  • Physician Forum - February 2019

Physician Forum 

Investing in Health Care in Our Community

John Hering, 
Chief Medical Officer at

CentraCare Health - Monticello


We are back into full construction mode again here at CentraCare Health – Monticello!  I’d like to give you an update on what is going on and the exciting changes ahead!

The major portion of our current $5.8 million project is the redesign of our Emergency Department.  This is long overdue!  When we last renovated our ED in the 1990s, we thought that the rooms were sized to last us forever.  Little did we know back then all the technology and advances in medical equipment that were coming!  As part of this project, all the rooms in the ED will be enlarged and standardized.  This last piece is key to improving work flow and efficiency for all our ED staff.  In addition, we are modernizing the layout.  Many new EDs are built in an onstage/offstage design.  This design allows patients and families to enter the ED rooms from an outer, public corridor, thereby keeping them out of the “hub” of the ED where the nurses, physicians, and other staff are working (they enter the ED rooms from the central hub by a different, inner, door).  While our footprint does not allow for a full onstage/offstage design, we will have the bulk of the ED rooms that will be used for most routine visits built this way. In addition, we are building a break room into the ED so that staff have a place to take breaks while on their shift, even with the unpredictability of working an ED shift. 

Another noticeable difference will be the addition of a new, drive-through ambulance bay on the front of the hospital.  The new layout will allow for rapid unloading of trauma patients directly into adjacent trauma rooms.  The current ambulance garage requires the ambulances to back in before unloading patients.  The current space occupied by the garage is being turned into two new, state-of-the art trauma rooms. 

To me, the most exciting component of the ED renovation is the behavioral health suite that we are building.  There will be four rooms built completely to “safe room” standards where patients who are in a mental health crisis can be safe while being evaluated or while they wait for placement in another facility.  Two of these rooms will flex and can be used as regular ED rooms, but the other two are in a suite that can be locked.  As many of you know, some of our patients end up boarding in our ED for several days or even weeks while waiting for an appropriate bed. This behavioral health suite will have a ligature resistant bathroom and shower in it, allowing our patients to maintain dignity and privacy while being safe. 

The last piece of this construction project is creating a shell space for a new MRI machine.  While our current MRI is still functioning just fine, it is beyond its life expectancy, and we can no longer fix any major breakdowns.  We will wait to replace the MRI until needed, but we had to plan a new space for it, as zoning requirements have changed.  We cannot replace the MRI in the existing space.  The new MRI will go where the PET scanner truck used to park (between the hospital and medical office building).  It made sense to do the shell work now with the current project because we were already going to be doing ground work in the area. 

This construction project is a big one and should wrap up late this summer.  Fortunately, our construction company is able to do it all in just two phases, so we will have less disruption with walls and doors moving, and less cost.  Our ED will remain open during the entire project, but we will be down a few rooms and the workspace for our staff is quite cozy.  Please be supportive of them during the upcoming months!

CentraCare Health - Monticello

1013 Hart Boulevard, Suite 1
Monticello, MN 55362
Phone: 763-295-2945
Business Office: 800-835-6618
Monticello Medical Group: 763-271-2200
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