Carson Tahoe Regional Healthcare and the Mallory Foundation celebrated the medical center's upgrade of emergency room triage during ceremonies Monday.
A $200,000 donation from the foundation, announced just over a year ago, made possible the Mallory Foundation Triage Lobby at the emergency room on the 80-acre medical campus in north Carson City. Ribbon-cutting ceremonies and a triage lobby tour marked the event.
"It has come true and it is amazing," said Sandy Wartgow, director of emergency services for Carson Tahoe Medical Center. She said the upgrade dovetails with her vision for safety and quality emergency care.
Riley Beckett, chairman of the Mallory Foundation and a Carson City attorney, cut the ribbon after brief remarks. He said he had a chance to use the emergency room last January before the upgrade.
"I saw first-hand that it could use some improvement," he said, adding that remark was facetious but he really has learned the upgrade was necessary and of significant value.
Beckett introduced his colleagues with the foundation, trustees Tom Cook and Ellen Shock, and also talked of Jean Mallory, a former client of his and the primary heir of Marion Mallory, Sr.
Marion Mallory invented the "Mallory ignition" and held more than 200 automotive patents. Beckett said the foundation provides funds for use at six entities, among them Carson Tahoe Regional Healthcare.
Prior to the ribbon-cutting and tour, those in attendance also heard from Dr. David Tillitt, an ER physician, Jen Robison, an ER nurse, and Cheri Glockner, Carson Tahoe Foundation executive director and center development director.
"It really improves the efficiency, the flow" of patients, said Tillitt.
He indicated the ER design before the upgrade was problematic, which meant there was inadequate visual access to the waiting room and a need for early testing in a triage staging area.
"You can't imagine what it means," said Robison, who noted the changes help her and her nursing colleagues provide patients with excellent care.
Glockner praised the Mallory Foundation's representatives for seeing quickly and clearly what it was the health care facility hoped to achieve with improvements planned for the emergency room.
Upon being asked later, she said the $200,000 grant from the Mallory Foundation was added to by the hospital to include extras such as safe furnishings in the waiting room to combat disease transmission. She said the additional expenditure amounted to about $100,000.
Carson Tahoe Regional Healthcare has served the area since 1949. Its current location opened in 2005.
It includes a 146-bed medical center offering 24-hour emergency care, as well as medical and surgical units.
It also offers comprehensive cardiac surgery, state-of-the-art imaging, five-star women and children's center and inpatient rehabilitation. And it offers a fully accredited cancer center, multiple outpatient locations, primary care clinics, along with urgent and retail clinics.