On Friday, a good sized crowd gathered at Northern Inyo Hospital to celebrate the opening of the new digital imaging building and the new support building.

Hospital Board Chairman Pete Watercott hosted the opening ceremony. He described the vast community effort from the voters who approved the 30 million dollars in bonds to the staff who helped design the building, to maintenance crews who moved all the puzzle pieces into position.

The digital imaging building is the new home for state of the art medical equipment, like the CAT scan that can scan a patient in seconds, plus the MRI and a snazzy new x-ray machine. Basically, the building holds a large number of state of the art machines designed to allow doctors to look inside a patient, take a digital picture, and send the picture anywhere it needs to go to help treat the patient.

The second new building celebrated on Friday is the new support building for the laundry, the laboratory, and maintenance. While not so glamorous as the new home for the CAT scan and the MRI, this building was considered critical to the whole operation since moving facilities there freed up room for departments elsewhere.

While the two new buildings are up and running, Hospital CEO John Halfen explained that the overall hospital project is only half done. The 60 year old main hospital building, with the tile roof, is scheduled to be demolished to make way for a new two story, 60,000 sqaure foot hospital building. Halfen said that the plan is to start construction on the new main hospital in 6 months.


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