Construction of the new surgical and diagnostic center at Wickenburg Community Hospital is proceeding on schedule for an August opening.
The first of two surgeons is already in place and seeing patients, and a second surgeon will arrive May 16.
Meanwhile, WCH is recruiting the first group of what will eventually become about 30 additional staff members to support the addition.
Mitch Wagner, MD, PLLC, an orthopedic surgeon, joined WCH in early February and has been holding office hours in Wickenburg while performing related surgeries at a facility in Scottsdale. Wagner said he has purchased a home in Wickenburg and looks forward to the surgery center opening in August so patients can receive an entire package of orthopedic services without having to travel to the Valley.
Wagner sees patients for a variety of orthopedic issues outside of surgery and also has experience treating trauma in emergency settings. Wagner said he chose to move to Wickenburg so he could have a more-personal relationship with patients.
“Health care has become impersonal,” said Wagner who until recently was practicing in a large physician group in Scottsdale.
Wagner also said he’s excited to be involved in the launch of the surgical center in Wickenburg and optimistic about the future of WCH as well as the area.
General surgeon Robert Ripley, MD, joins the WCH team next week and will be seeing patients for a wide variety of issues including gastrointestinal, hernias, gall bladder an various diagnostic procedures such as colonoscopies, skin cancer and breast biopsies.
Wagner and Ripley are taking appointments in the new WCH Medical Clinic building at 519 Rose Lane. The surgical center where they will practice is coming along as scheduled. The building adjoins the hospital and is scheduled for occupancy August 1.
This will be one of the prettiest OR’s I’ve ever been in,” said Richard Wedig director of clinics and surgical services, who pointed out the architecture and interior are more artistic than institutional.
The exterior walls and roof are complete. Inside, wiring is being installed along with the mounting hardware for equipment and lighting. Drywall is going up to form two operating rooms, nurses stations, pre-operative and post-operative patient areas, staff lounge, sterilization facility, waiting rooms, and more. The highlight of the surgical center is a yet-to-be-unveiled, two-story stained glass window designed by local artists.
As for staffing the surgical center, WCH is currently recruiting to fill about 17 positions. Operating room nurses and scrub techs as well as office staff will be needed in the near future, and other positions will be added as the patient load grows, Wedig said.
Article was published in the Wickenburg Sun | written by Jeanie Williams, Editor