Kearney, NE- Thanks in part to a $2 million anonymous donation, the trauma program at CHI Health Good Samaritan will take a highly anticipated step forward Tuesday with a ceremonial groundbreaking for its new Emergency Department.
The celebration begins at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 27 on the east side of the hospital campus, 10 E. 31st St., just outside the Emergency Room doors.
Construction on the 16,000-square-foot, $13 million expansion is planned for completion in spring 2021. The project will not change the hospital's footprint, rather it will use existing facility space including parts of the current 7,500-square-foot ER built in 1994.
The all new, larger space will double the size of Good Samaritan's ER and include private exam rooms, additional trauma and procedure rooms, a new entrance and more.
"This news is a real celebration," said Michael Schnieders, president of Good Samaritan. "Our trauma team is top notch and they've developed an advanced program that operates in space the department long ago outgrew. The financial gift, in addition to dedicated capital funding, allows us to create an Emergency Room of the future that will directly benefit our patients as well as our physicians and staff."
As requested by the anonymous donor, the new space will be named the Kenton L. Shaffer Emergency Care Center at CHI Health Good Samaritan.
"Dr. Shaffer's pioneering vision, determination and dedication to the tiniest of patients helped build the foundation for Good Samaritan's NICU-one of the first of its kind in central Nebraska. No matter the hour or weather conditions, he would drive out to care for sick babies," said Randy DeFreece, Foundation president. "While Dr. Shaffer is not the anonymous donor, you can see why money was given in his name to further advance trauma care to our region. He's gone above and beyond to save many little lives. Even in his retirement he continues to help, volunteering his time and expertise at HelpCare Clinic."
The Emergency department will continue to operate out of its current location until construction is complete.
Please note: Michael Schnieders, Good Samaritan president, along with Randy DeFreece, Foundation president, will be available for interviews after the brief ceremonial groundbreaking. Staff will unfurl a large banner featuring the new name of the emergency care center as part of the ceremony. The banner will be displayed during the construction process.