The Lebanon VA Medical Center held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday morning for the hospital’s new Medical-Surgical Unit.

The new unit features 16 private rooms and will ultimately service more than 1,000 patients per year. Each room has a private bathroom with walk-in shower.

The rooms also have new state-of-the-art safe patient handling equipment. This system of a rails attached to the ceiling allows for patients to be moved safely from their hospital bed to a chair or the bathroom. This system improves safety for patients, but also for staff, as back-injuries can be common for nurses when trying to move patient without systems like this in place.

Before the renovation, these rooms were double occupancy. Now, patients are offered a more comfortable experience in these private rooms that don’t have the sterile feel of more typical hospital rooms.

Six of the rooms are also equipped with telemetry monitoring capabilities.

The ribbon cutting ceremony was attended by Pennsylvania House Representatives Frank Ryan and Russ Diamond, who offered remarks and presented a certificate to Director of Patient Services Margaret G. Wilson.

Also in attendance were county commissioners Bob Phillips, Bill Ames, and Jo Ellen Litz who also presented Wilson with a certificate to mark the opening of the new unit.

Patients will be moved into the new unit starting tomorrow.

The Lebanon VAMC services 45,000 veterans each year and 28% of staff members are veterans themselves.