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Public Affairs : New operating rooms open at Keller

Keller opens two new operating rooms 

Story and photos by Mike Strasser
Assistant Editor
WEST POINT, N.Y. (Sept. 26, 2013) — The medical community at West Point celebrated the latest renovation at Keller Army Community Hospital Sept. 19 during a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Starting Monday, two newly renovated operating rooms were in service for hospital patients. During the renovations, Col. Felicia Pehrson, KACH commanding officer, said the staff at Keller endured all the unforeseen challenges that came with construction by always placing the safety and quality care of patients first.

“This has been a long time coming,” Pehrson said. “You, as a team, have overcome a lot of hurdles to get here today. This is what it’s all about—delivering state-of-the-art care to our beneficiaries.”

The renovation for the new operating rooms began in December 2012 and features new flooring and walls, a humidity generator with control functions, and operating tables with hip and shoulder positioning devices. 
Pictured is one of two new operating rooms currently open at Keller Army Community Hospital.
Participating in the ribbon cutting ceremony of the two new operating rooms at Keller Army Community Hospital were, from left, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kenneth McCutcheon, Sgt. Michelle Gamao, Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey Miller, Col. Felicia Pehrson, Lt. Col. Chad Haley, Heather Kewley and Dottie Boehlert.

Surgeons will find useful the Stryker Integrated OR System’s high definition display monitors and surgical lights—one with an in-light surgical camera. The two operating rooms can handle approximately 1,200 cases annually with the surgical team performing everything from arthroscopic repairs to knees and shoulders to hip arthroscopy, tonsillectomy and septoplasty surgeries.

“Ultimately, I firmly believe we will increase the level of surgical care because of these two rooms here,” Lt. Col. Chad Haley, Department of Surgery chief, said.

Haley acknowledged all the personnel who helped during the yearlong renovation, but credited Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kenneth McCutcheon, the transition chair, for taking on significant tasks.

“Chief McCutcheon—we all need to thank because he has lost a lot of sleep over this project and put a lot of effort in it,” Haley said. “This man has really done an incredible job for this hospital and its patients.”

McCutcheon joined Pehrson and Haley in thanking all the people involved, to include the transition team, noncommissioned officers on staff, nursing crew and housekeeping staff.

“What we don’t see, and take for granted, is our housekeeping staff,” McCutcheon said. “We had to change directions three times in two days. They came and cleaned, and we said, ‘Oh, we missed this.’ They came in, cleaned again and we said ‘Oops, we didn’t think about this.’ And not one time did they say ‘How about you get your act straight and then we’ll come clean.’ They were accommodating in ways that were unexpected and most appreciated.”

Two smaller construction projects were completed concurrent with the addition of the ORs: a fire suppression system was installed and the medical gas lines were replaced. A new three-story clinic is being built adjacent to Keller and is expected to be completed by April 2014.

According to Keller Public Affairs, the facility measures 53,110 square feet and will enhance efficiencies in departmental work flows and centralize outlying clinic services.