Clements touts bright future at Cullman Regional’s annual luncheon

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Cullman Regional CEO James Clements speaks at Wednesday’s 2020 State of the Health System Address. (Christy Perry for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – “Our future’s so bright, we gotta wear shades.” That was the message from Cullman Regional at its 2020 State of the Health System Address Wednesday.

Cullman Regional Chief Executive Officer James Clements highlighted the improvements and growth the hospital has experienced in the last several years, as well as exciting future projects the community can expect.

Clements discussed the June 2019 announcement of a $30 million expansion project that will increase the capacity of the Critical Care Unit (CCU) by 50%, increase the capacity of the Emergency Department by 50% and reduce the usage of semi-private rooms throughout the hospital.

The expansion plans include:

  • Increase the number of Critical Care Beds from 12 to 18
  • Expand the current Emergency Room facility from 21 exam rooms and three behavior health treatment rooms to 30 exam rooms and eight behavior health treatment rooms
  • Create an Outpatient Behavioral Health Program
  • Hospital-wide infrastructure upgrades to accommodate the additional capacity

Clements said the infrastructure upgrades will begin next month. The Cullman Regional Board of Directors announced earlier this month that the board facilities committee anticipates construction will begin in the third quarter of 2020. Phase 1 of construction will include the expansion of the Emergency Department; Phase 2 will include infrastructure improvements and Phase 3 will be the addition of the critical care beds which will be a ground floor to fourth floor expansion of the west units of the current facility.

Cullman Regional has stated benefits of the expansion include:

  • Reduction in semi-private room usage house wide
  • Expansion of emergency room capacity from 40,000 to 60,000 annually
  • Better access to the highest level of care for the sickest patients
  • Better access to outpatient behavioral health treatment for our community
  • Upgrade existing infrastructure to make it more sustainable for the future

“Our strategy is relatively simple,” Clements said Wednesday. “We want to continuously add health care resources to Cullman so all of us can stay closer to home for health care.”

A few of the examples given of added resources include the robotic Mako System, the robotic da Vinci Xi Surgical System, recently completed 30-bed expansion, outpatient imaging center, urgent care center, the addition of more than 200 staff and 30 additional physicians.

Cullman Regional recently welcomed Phillip Kravetz, M.D. who specializes in minimally invasive spine surgery. It has also introduced online check-in for its urgent care center.

Clements spotlighted community events Cullman Regional hosted throughout the year to benefit the community.

He said of the annual Trunk or Treat Halloween event, “It allows members of our community to have a positive experience here at the hospital. We average, most years, between 6,000-7,000 people at this event. It’s a great team-building exercise for our employees and team.”

He added, “Thanks to everyone in this room and all our stakeholders. All this positive growth would not be possible without a team of people. Thanks to all our stakeholders, our hospital team members, our physicians, our board members, our hospital foundation and our local community, most of all, for choosing us as their health care provider.”

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