Methodist in the Media

Methodist Hospital’s $26.7 Million Emergency Department Renovation and Expansion Is Complete

Published: Jan. 26, 2023

OMAHA — A project three years in the making has resulted in an emergency department that’s doubled its patient rooms and nearly doubled its square footage – all in an effort to more efficiently and safely care for the Omaha community.

The six-phase, $26.7 million renovation and expansion of the Methodist Hospital Emergency Department began in 2019 and marked the first structural renovation to the space since 1995 – that’s 28 years. Finishing touches will be attended to, and staff will begin serving patients in the fully renovated space in February. 

“We often refer to the Emergency Department as the front door to the hospital,” said Josie Abboud, FACHE, president and CEO of Methodist Hospital and Methodist Women's Hospital. “For many people in the community, entering the Emergency Department might be the first time they access health care. It’s important that we have an inviting space that’s able to take care of them. For our Omaha community, this really allows them to receive care at home, right here in Omaha – at times when they’re most vulnerable, and in times when they need it most.”

Methodist Hospital Emergency Department expansion
A view of a trauma room in the updated Methodist Hospital Emergency Department.

Highlights of the new department include:

  • A safer environment for mental health patients
  • A new and enhanced space for victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, human trafficking and elder abuse
  • Improved access for patients arriving via ambulance and personal vehicles
  • Improved care and accessibility for individuals who need assistance with transferring, such as bariatric or traumatic brain injury patients
  • The addition of Fast Track Triage for patients 

“We used every inch of our old department, and a lot, because we’re open 24/7,” said Chelsea Craig, BSN, RN, the Emergency Department service leader at Methodist Hospital and Methodist Women’s Hospital. “Our old space no longer best fit our patients and staff as their needs evolved. Now we have a fresh space that meets those needs and matches our level of care. We’re really proud of it, and with it we can continue to be proud of the care we provide.”

All this means that Emergency Department staff can better care for patients seeking emergent medical care. Patient volumes in recent years indicate that the demand for care is great, and having a safer, more efficient care space will have a positive impact on the community.

Methodist Hospital Emergency Department expansion
Chelsea Craig, the Emergency Department service leader at Methodist Hospital and Methodist Women’s Hospital, details updates to the department in a tour with members of the media.

“Over the last five years, we’ve had an 8% increase in Emergency Department patients at Methodist Hospital,” said Joseph McCaslin, MD, medical director of the hospital’s Emergency Department. “We’re definitely seeing a lot more patients every day, and now we have the space where we can see them. People know that we are open and we will see them, so they decide to come here. We’re proud to be able to provide that to them.”

Projects like these aren’t possible without the generosity of donors working in collaboration with Methodist Hospital Foundation. They have been at the core of other fundraising efforts, including the Methodist Women’s Hospital campus, its two NICU expansions – one completed and one underway – and the expansion and renovation of the Methodist Hospital surgical suites.

“This is a community resource that is funded by our community, which is really special,” said Tracy Madden-McMahon, president and CEO of the Foundation. “Our donors immediately understood the importance of this project – things like more space, more privacy and better access; the need for safe rooms for those experiencing mental health crises; and having a specialized suite for situations involving domestic violence, sexual assault, elder abuse and human trafficking. We are so grateful to our donors, including many of our own employees. They are the ones who made this project possible.”

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Omaha World-Herald: Omaha's Methodist Hospital completes $26.7 million ER renovation, expansion