Expansion planned at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center

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(Host) A $50 million expansion is planned at the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington.

The state Public Oversight Commission has recommended the hospital be given permission to move ahead with detailed plans for the project.

Vice president Kevin McDonald says the hospital needs more space to accommodate new technology.

(McDonald) "We discovered for instance that our emergency room was about a third the size it should be. Our pharmacy was less than half the amount of space it should be. And our imaging area was about two-thirds the size it needed to be to do what we do there today.”

McDonald says the expansion should have been done a decade ago. Some parts of the hospital are up to 80 years old.

The expansion would include more single-room patient beds and an increase in space for the emergency department, imaging department, lab and pharmacy.

The final decision on whether to allow the expansion will be up to the state’s health care commissioner.

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