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Somerset Hospital honors woman who helped upgrade the ER

December 21, 2018

Somerset Hospital officials honored the secretary for the board of directors, Catherine Poorbaugh, on Thursday by dedicating the name of the emergency department pavilion in her honor.

Poorbaugh joined the hospital board 46 years ago and was the first woman to be appointed to the board of directors in 1972.

Poorbaugh said that when she joined the board, emergency rooms were not private. Patients could hear conversations involving other patients.

“Now we have a wonderful emergency room, with private rooms,” she said.

The emergency department consists of 15 rooms. Renovations have made the rooms private from other ones, thanks to added doors and soundproofing. Emergency department director Ken Marteney said the original rooms were just curtains and no door.

“I think it’s better now for the patients,” he said. “It’s quiet here, it’s much more private. It’s not nearly the hustle and bustle that you would hear all the time.”

The new emergency room was opened in 2015, with renovations that also expanded the area to include five bathrooms and another nursing station. Rooms also include monitors that transfer information to the nursing stations.

“We can track where those patients are in the process here,” Marteney said. “Are their labs done, stuff like that, based on the room that they are in. Anything you can see at the bedside, we can see there.”

Brad Cober, treasurer for the Somerset Hospital board of directors, said Poorbaugh has always been an active contributor to the hospital. He said her support reminded him of former President George H.W. Bush’s phrase “a thousand points of light.”

“When I think about that, I think about Cathy,” he said. “She’s one of those true points of light.”

Poorbaugh said she was happy that when she went out and asked people for money for the upgrades in the emergency room, they were generous.

“I’m just thankful that I was able to have a part in it,” she said.

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