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Oaklawn completes lobby renovation

MARSHALL – Visitors and patients who haven’t visited Oaklawn’s main campus in awhile are discovering a brand-new environment.

Newly finished renovation work has created a spacious lobby off the Madison Street entrance, with wide-open waiting areas surrounding a central registration hub. Recent completion of the project’s final phase has added two registration booths to the five in operation since late last year, as well as new blood-draw stations and more direct access to the hospital’s Radiology Department.

“This has been an extensive makeover of the hospital’s entrance lobby, which has gone hand-in-hand with the development of a speedier and more efficient registration process,” said Joanna Tarkiewicz, Oaklawn’s assistant director of plant operations.

“We’ve been looking forward to this for awhile – having a central location for our patients, whether they’re having lab work or they’re heading to radiology,” said Chris Wetzel, director of diagnostic services. The new route to the Radiology Department means patients don’t have so far to walk, Wetzel and Tarkiewicz said.

Patients now can be connected with greater efficiency to such services as ultrasound, X-ray, nuclear medicine and MRI and CT scans. A new pneumatic-tube system also delivers samples to the laboratory more swiftly, Wetzel said.

Since May 2018, the hospital at 200 N. Madison St. and Wright Medical Building at 215 E. Mansion St. have undergone an approximately $1.5 million project intended to improve exterior signage, eliminate confined waiting areas and establish a new patient-registration system.

The old hallway adjacent to the former registration area was widened from eight feet to approximately 25 feet by eliminating a corner wall, allowing full access to the registration booths, Tarkiewicz said. Construction was overseen by Albion-based Gordon Martin Builder Inc.

In an effort to reduce the spread of bacteria in the waiting area, the renovated section’s interior walls were covered with “Paint Shield,” an anti-microbial interior latex product by Sherwin-Williams. The paint has the ability to kill certain bacteria for up to four years.

“It’s basically hand sanitizer on your wall,” Tarkiewicz said.

Tarkiewicz expressed satisfaction that the overall project has been completed on schedule after a three-year planning process.

“We wanted to help make the hospital feel less overwhelming and more open and accessible for everyone,” Tarkiewicz said. “Ultimately, we wanted our patients to be satisfied with their experience at Oaklawn, and we believe this contribute a great deal to that.”

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