St. Luke’s slated to receive $2.8 million

Published 12:19 pm Friday, March 15, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

COLUMBUS—St. Luke’s Hospital has received a significant boost in its modernization efforts with the approval of $2.8 million in federal funding, thanks to the efforts of North Carolina District 11 Congressman Chuck Edwards. The timely announcement will continue the hospital’s transformation, enabling it to keep pace with evolving building codes, equipment, and technology.

“About five years ago, the St. Luke’s Board of Trustees realized we could not stay where we were for the hospital to survive,” said Alex Bell, CEO Interim at St. Luke’s. Since then, the hospital administration has worked tirelessly to make significant strides to bring St. Luke’s to the forefront of rural healthcare. However, the current St. Luke’s facility is more than fifty years old, and with any building constructed more than five decades ago, building codes, equipment and technology have changed monumentally.

Essential renovations are required to ensure that infrastructure components meet the current building code. Upgrades to the hospital’s utility service are necessary to receive building permits for major room renovations, expand bathroom accessibility, enhance the operating rooms, and expand the emergency department. The hospital administration aims to extend the facility’s life expectancy meaningfully through these improvements.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Immediate upgrades proposed include replacing the normal and emergency gear supplying power to the entire facility, replacing the manual and emergency automatic transfer switches supplying power to the facility, installing branch distribution panels downstream of the automatic transfer switches and installing an additional water supply line to the facility from the public utility to meet the redundant water supply required by the plumbing code.

“The cost of upgrades is significant, but the hospital administration is planning for continued growth,” Bell said. “Initiated under former CEO Michelle Fortune, the St. Luke’s team has been working with Congressman Chuck Edwards to secure $2.8 million to help with infrastructure renovations. With the funding approved, St. Luke’s has budgeted 25% of the cost to launch the utility rehab project. This determination and strategic planning ensure that the project will succeed, and the hospital will continue to provide quality healthcare to the community.”

Congressman Edwards said he was thrilled about the funding.

“I am happy that lawmakers in the House and Senate have recognized the merit in my requests to fund these community projects to help make life better for Western North Carolinians,” he said.


 Submitted by Dean Graves