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LRGH expects to double size of emergency department

LACONIA — After pursuing a strategic planning process during the past year, leadership and trustees of LRGHealthcare are on the brink of undertaking a multi-million dollar expansion and renovation of the emergency department at Lakes Region General Hospital.

Henry Lipman, senior vice president for financial strategies and external relations, said yesterday that the final cost of the project has yet to be determined and the arrangements for financing the construction remain to be completed. "That's why we don't have a start date at his time," he said. However, the project was approved by the New Hampshire Health Services Planning and Review Board, which administers the certificate of need program, in March and the designs have undergone an initial review by the city's Planning Department.

The project will more than double the size of the department by adding some 9,400 square feet of new space to the 7,900 square feet that currently houses emergency services. Almost half the existing space will be thoroughly renovated. The department will have two entrances, one for ambulances leading directly to the clinical area of the facility and another for patients leading to a triage desk and waiting room.

There will be two trauma rooms near an elevator that will take those patients that must be airlifted to another hospital to the helipad on the upper level. Altogether there will be 20 treatment rooms, including one designated and equipped for bariatric patients, divided evenly between the new and existing space and served by two nursing stations. Finally, for patients with mental illness, who must be held until a bed is available in an appropriate facility, there will be four secure holding rooms.

Lipman said that the emergency department is housed in one of the oldest parts of the hospital, built in 1947 and despite a series of improvements no longer meets the needs of providers or the expectations of patients. He said that treatment rooms will offer patients much greater privacy as well as strengthen the control of infection. The department will have direct access to the operating room, ensuring the timely treatment of trauma patients requiring immediate surgery.

As part of the project the radiology unit housing the Cat Scan will be relocated to 2,700 square feet of newly built space adjacent to the emergency department. Lipman said that the proximity of the radiology unit will support the partnership with Massachusetts General Hospital to diagnose and treat patients with strokes by means of video conferencing and image sharing technology.

Although two sections of the hospital remain to be converted to single rooms, Lipman said that the reconstruction of the emergency department is the most significant project remaining to be undertaken at the hospital.

Last Updated on Friday, 10 April 2015 11:51

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Crash into utility pole closes Province Rd. for 6 hours

GILMANTON - A Barnstead man escaped serious injury Thursday morning after the truck he was driving on Province Road left the pavement and struck a utility pole.

Sgt. Matt Currier said the driver of the truck lost control because of the slush in the road from Wednesday's night's minor snowstorm.

He said the truck struck the utility pole with such force that the pole snapped about 6 feet from the bottom.

Currier said Province Road was closed to traffic for about six hours while crews from NH Electric Cooperative set a new pole.

Last Updated on Friday, 10 April 2015 11:35

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Mass. company to clean vandalized head stone

BELMONT — A Massachusetts-based company has volunteered to clean the head stone of the three-week old baby that was vandalized earlier this week.

The company, which wishes to remain anonymous, volunteered its services through the Belmont Police Department and the family has said it is very grateful for their thoughtfulness.

The headstone of Katie Anne Hebert was spray-painted black recently and was noticed by her family when they went to visit her grave.

In her three weeks of life, Katie Anne achieved national prominence when she was born at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. On the day she was born, her parents had been trying to get to Concord Hospital but were unable to make it, and speedway medical crews with the help of Loudon emergency responders helped deliver her.

Belmont Police said there was no damage done to any of the tombstones in the immediate area and are still asking for the public's help in getting information about who vandalized the stone.

If anyone can offer any assistance they are asked to call the Belmont Police at 267-8351.

Last Updated on Friday, 10 April 2015 11:21

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Pleasant Street students get early start on science skills

 

LACONIA — Fourth graders and kindergartners at the Pleasant Street Elementary School teamed up for a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) project Thursday afternoon in which they designed safe landing spaces for Barbie dolls using 10 cotton balls and 10 pieces of tissue paper.

They were joined for their joint exercise by Dr. Yvonne Spicer of the National Center for Technological Literacy at the Museum of Science in Boston, who was making her second visit to the school in recent months and her sixth visit to city schools.

Spicer joined the program which was in progress after making a stop at the Laconia Middle School, where eighth graders partner with their fourth-grade counterparts from Pleasant Street School on a variety of STEM projects.
She is the vice president for Advocacy and Educational Partnerships, which has a goal of inspiring the next generation of innovators, inventors and engineers by having students start at an early to learn how to apply science, math and engineering to solve real world problems.

Pleasant Street School fourth grade age teacher Whitney McCallum showed students a video of people jumping from a tower onto a large inflatable device which cushioned their landing. She then distributed Barbie dolls, including at least one Ken doll, to student teams which combined fourth graders and kindergartners, who were then had to use the cotton balls and tissue paper to design a landing spot for the dolls and then draw pictures of their designs.

After several attempts in which the dropped Barbie dolls did not make safe landings, most of the students modified their techniques and crumpled or tore the tissue paper to provide softer landing areas.

Following the joint session with kindergartners the fourth graders returned to their room, where they utilized rubber bands to create bungee jumping Barbies and measured the impact of using additional rubber bands on how far the doll falls and then creating a line graph from the data they collected.

Finnian Mousseau, 9, a fourth grader, said that he had learned a lot from the STEM classes and said that one recent fun activity involved using toothpicks to go mining for chocolate chips in chocolate chip cookies. ''It was like living in the Gold Rush.'' said Mousseau.

He said that another fun activity involved using popsicle sticks, spoons and rubber bands to create a pumpkin launcher for launching candy pumpkins.

Another learning opportunity was an exercise with eighth graders in which he discovered that heated air molecules are needed to inflate balloons as the heat makes them expand while cold air molecules will clump together and sink rather than rise.

''There's a lot you can do with science. I like the Museum of Science because you get to see how machines work and there are lots of hands-on things to do that help you learn'' says Mousseau.

Last Updated on Friday, 10 April 2015 11:14

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