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Memorial Hermann continues Lake Houston area growth with patient tower, Convenient Care Center

November 17, 2018

Memorial Hermann bolstered its presence in the Lake Houston area with two ribbon-cuttings this week.

At 5:30 p.m. Tuesday the Convenient Care Center in Kingwood hosted a special preview event and from 1 to 3 p.m. Meanwhile, on Friday a new five-story tower at the Northeast campus in Humble made its public debut.

The gathering at the CCC was a long-awaited one — Hurricane Harvey washed away the original opening-day celebration when it directed flood waters into halls and rooms on the first floor.

“This reopening symbolizes more than the opening of a facility — it symbolizes the strength of our community and the strength of our partnerships,” said Jenna Armstrong, president and CEO of the Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce. “It’s with extreme pleasure and excitement to stand here and be the first to say ‘Welcome back to business.’”

Round-the-corner care

David Beck, the emergency services director at Memorial Hermann Northeast, was there when the CCC was inundated with floodwaters. But that’s the past, and similar to his colleagues Beck is enthusiastic for what is to come.

He said despite not having “hospital” in its name, the CCC has all the capabilities of one and should be seen as an extension of Memorial Hermann Northeast with the same physician group, nursing staff and administrative staff.

That unified nature is also in the system used to store and call up patients’ records, too, as Teal Holden, senior vice president of ambulatory services, stated.

“It’s been 14 months and waiting,” she said. “This facility is going to have everything from ER to primary care, screening, mammography, to MRI, as well as some specialty care in the future.”

Holden revealed that the facility was built with growth in mind; there are available spaces upstairs for forthcoming primary-care physicians. For now, per its brochure, the CCC boasts “24/7 emergency care, physical therapy, advanced imaging and lab services.”

She added that it is equipped for international patients, too — just like other Memorial Hermann facilities.

Many staff members pointed out that, with the CCC, distance will no longer be an issue for those seeking care.

“We’re the closest thing now for the community of Kingwood and Porter,” said Marsha Leitzke, senior medical technologist. “It takes 10 or 15 minutes sometimes to drive all the way down Kingwood Drive. To get to Northeast, sometimes it takes 20-30 minutes.”

Registered nurses Krista McSwain and Kailee Janak also echoed this point.

“I have a lot of family that live in the community,” McSwain said. “I hope that they choose to use this facility.”

McSwain was one of many staff members that the Northeast campus took in when the CCC was flooded and undergoing remediations. During her year there, she met and worked with Janak.

The CCC will begin to receive patients 7 a.m. Nov. 26, the Monday after Thanksgiving.

“Once we open we do not close,” Beck said. “Except for inclement weather.”

New tower

To Beck, the five-story, 123,000-square foot structure represents a “state-of-the-art” upgrade in patient care at at Memorial Hermann Northeast. It will offer patients more spacious rooms to stay in and better access to services.

“It is to replace the south tower, which is our oldest tower at the Northeast hospital,” he said. “That tower we’ll be repurposed into office space, things like that.”

On May 30, Memorial Hermann broke ground on the $70 million tower with Josh Urban, senior vice president and CEO of Memorial Hermann Northeast Hospital, and Mayor Merle Aaron in attendance. It will house 90 larger rooms — with the ability to add 30 more beds — among other features.

Friday’s event meant the tower opened earlier than its original December window.

“We’re hoping that all of our patient will have a great experience with us,” Holden said regarding both the tower and the CCC in Kingwood.

nguyen.le@chron.com

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