RUMFORD – A 65-foot stainless steel stack was hoisted into place atop Rumford Hospital by two cranes on July 14, after being delivered by an oversize tractor-trailer the previous day.

The new stack will be sufficient to accommodate all the current renovations as well as a new consolidated patient wing that is planned several years from now. The stack, taller and wider than its predecessor, will help the hospital’s heating units run more efficiently, too.

“All these small steps – the new elevators, the lighting, the generator, the sprinkler and alarm systems, the stack – will add up to make the hospital’s infrastructure state-of-the-art,” said Rumford Hospital CEO John Welsh.

“These components are not very visible but, when the new front entrance and emergency room update are complete, people will see a distinct difference in Rumford Hospital.”

Work is expected to begin on the entrance and Emergency Department in late summer and be completed in the spring.

With more than 10,000 visits each year, Rumford Hospital’s Emergency Department staff and patients will find the new space more private and more efficient. In addition, the new main entrance above the Emergency Department will afford patients and visitors easy access from the parking lot and a more convenient registration and information area.

This phase of modernization, funded in part by a federal grant secured by Congressman Michael Michaud, also includes renovation and enlargement of the day surgery area. As more and more surgeries are done on an outpatient basis, the day surgery area has seen a huge increase in use and has outgrown the space allotted to it.

“Rumford Hospital has waited a long time to begin its rejuvenation,” said Welsh. “But now things are moving quickly.” He added that, although during the renovation and construction things may be more difficult for patients and visitors, “the entire staff is committed to helping people find their way safely around the hospital.”

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