12/26/05 — Hospital adds two off-site offices

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Hospital adds two off-site offices

By Turner Walston
Published in News on December 26, 2005 1:48 PM

Continued growth at Wayne Memorial Hospital has resulted in two departments moving off-site.

The Wayne Area Diabetes Education Center (WADEC) and the hospital's Patient Financial Services have moved from the main campus on Wayne Memorial Drive to Carolina Commerce Center, an office development at 2815 N. William St. The hospital is leasing the space from Best Commercial Development through a five-year agreement. The departments officially opened at their new locations earlier this month.

WADEC coordinator Shelda Johnson said she is excited about the new location.

"We're looking forward to continuing to provide our service," she said.

Founded in November 1999, WADEC had been operating out of a modular unit behind the main hospital building. The center offers diabetes self-management training to patients through individual appointments and group classes.

"We provide patients with information on their meal planning, monitoring and medication management. We teach the patients how to do what the doctor's telling them to do," Ms. Johnson said.

She said more space offered at the new location will allow for more growth. The center offers group classes in addition to individual appointments.

"We hope that we can increase the class sizes as we go," she said.

WADEC has three employees and two volunteers, Ms. Johnson said. In the weeks following the move, employees are unpacking and scanning information into the hospital's Meditech system.

"We're going to learn how to maneuver and make sure that the kinks are worked out of that system," she said.

Joining WADEC at Carolina Commerce Center is the hospital's Patient Financial Services, with about 30 employees.

Patients received notices of the move with their recent statements, said Pat Hawkins, Patient Financial Services director.

He said the new location will be "more convenient" for most clients.

Many hospitals are operating financial offices off-site, Hawkins said. "We're not doing anything that's not been done before."

Hawkins said the long-term plans at the hospital are to build perimeter office buildings on the main campus. Until then, patient care comes first.

"With the immediate need that we had, just a lot of our patient care areas were just too cramped. We needed to be able to provide those services here on-site. It was just logical for a lot of the non patient care services to move off-site."

Hawkins said he is looking forward to settling in at the new location.

"It's just a lot of work. A lot of preparation and planning has gone into it. I'm sure we're going to have to make adjustments, do things a little bit differently, but we're able to carry on our mission and our service over here."

Hawkins said the space is working out well so far.

"I heard the comment the other day, 'It feels like we've been here for months,' so that's a positive," he said. "If you can be here that short a term and feel like you've been here for months, then everything's going smooth."