Building renovations will allow for regional surgery center, tornado safe room

August 01, 2013

In rural communities where resources are often scarce and isolated, innovative use of space is crucial. In Houston, Missouri, Texas County Memorial Hospital is doing just that: renovating an antiquated facility to be used as a new surgery area for the hospital as well as to serve as an on-campus tornado safe room with educational programming space.

Located in Houston, MO, the hospital provides services to Texas County, the largest county in the state, and seven surrounding counties, serving a population of more than 116,000 people. The new surgery area will replace an antiquated facility allowing the hospital to revitalize its surgery unit and provided much needed upgrades to this vital patient care unit. Through support from the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), the project will also include a 4,000 square foot tornado safe room that will protect the hospital’s patients, caregivers, family members, staff, and community members during tornados and other natural disasters. Texas County Memorial Hospital is the first hospital in Missouri to receive funding from FEMA for a tornado safe room.

When not in use for disaster management, the room will be utilized for health-education programming to include the hospital’s “Healthy Kids” program and breastfeeding classes for new mothers. The room will also be available for community health screenings and use by other public entities in the region. DRA's $150,000 investment comes as Missouri has recently seen incredible damage from tornadoes and powerful weather events. The new surgery center will increase the hospital’s capacity to meet the medical demands of a disaster as well as serve the daily needs of the residents of South Central Missouri. The safe room will further secure the hospital as a vital community resource in times of disaster.

Renovations are expected to be completed by November 2014. This project was funded in the first round of the 2013 SEDAP.