St. Martin Hospital (SMH), located at 210 Champagne Blvd. in Breaux Bridge, will host a groundbreaking ceremony today, Tuesday, July 30 at 11:00 a.m. to celebrate the start of an $11.2 million expansion and renovation project.
Both local and state officials have been in support of St. Martin Hospital and its expansion efforts since discussions began years ago. As such, special guests include the Honorable Governor John Bel Edwards, Louisiana Department of Hospitals Secretary Dr. Rebekah Gee, Breaux Bridge Mayor Ricky Calais, St. Martin Parish President Chester Cedars, Louisiana Rural Health Coalition Executive Director Charles Castille and Hospital Service District Board #2 Chairman Burton Dupuis. The master of ceremonies will be Louisiana Senator Fred Mills.
St. Martin Hospital, formerly known as Gary Memorial, celebrates its 50th birthday this year. The 30,000 square foot addition will more than double the rural hospital’s existing size of 28,983 square feet. While it has undergone many renovations over the years, this is the largest. The project also includes general site improvements and renovations to existing patient rooms. It is slated to be completed by spring of 2021.
“After years of planning and studying on how best to expand our community hospital, followed by the confidence of voters in the Hospital Service District last March, we are finally breaking ground,” said SMH Chief Executive Officer Karen Wyble. “Because of the support of our community and elected officials, we can continue to expand our hospital and increase the services we offer. As our community grows, so do the healthcare needs of our neighbors. This expansion enables us to meet the needs of today and serve the community for generations to come,” continued Wyble.
The 30,000 square foot expansion, which will be the largest construction project in St. Martin Parish, will add three components that will deliver vital services to the campus: a new nursing unit with 25 patient rooms, a new MRI suite and a new surgical suite that will allow for surgery and heart catheterization. The nursing unit was designed with the input from nursing staff and will accommodate patients with varying levels of acuity. There is a caregiver station positioned outside of each patient room designed for charting, direct observation of the patient and individual supply storage for each patient. The MRI suite will include state-of-the-art equipment and accommodate all safety zones and patient privacy. And the addition of a surgical suite means St. Martin Hospital will be able to offer surgical services for the first time.
St. Martin Hospital reached an agreement in 2009 to have Lafayette General Health (LGH) take over complete management through a long-term lease of the facility. The property still belongs to the St. Martin Parish Hospital Service District #2. Tax money from the district continues to be used to benefit St. Martin Hospital only and is not absorbed by the health system.
“Our partnership with LGH continues to benefit the people of St. Martin Parish and surrounding areas and it brings our hospital opportunities that were once unavailable. We’re delivering major medical resources to this community. We’re able to treat people right here at home. It’s opened our doors to advanced medical services that were previously only available for large institutions and big cities,” continued Wyble.
Rendering of St. Martin Hospital’s expansion. Courtesy of LGH, WHLC Architecture.