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Emergency Department expansion project begins this week

Crews began work today on an expansion of the Emergency Department at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center that will add 24,000 square feet of clinical and support space by spring 2019. The ED will remain operational throughout the project, but visitors will see increased construction activity in the area and a change in traffic pattern.

Starting this week, crews will install fencing and begin site preparation. Construction barriers will block the windows along the ED hallway parallel to the Penn State Cancer Institute's Healing Garden. During phase one of the renovation, crews will do site preparation and repurpose half of the Healing Garden to make way for new steel to support the expansion foundation.

The addition will be built to the north and east of the ED's existing footprint. When completed, it will provide additional patient care spaces, a public waiting area, a dedicated sexual assault exam area, an expanded decontamination and infectious disease isolation area, and other support spaces. A related project to add a 12-bed observation unit to improve patient capacity is nearly complete, with the new unit slated to open in January.

In December, crews will move the entry door to the patient and visitor entrance from the east to the north side of the vestibule. One section of the parking lot adjacent to the ED and Cancer Institute will be closed, and a new traffic pattern from University Drive to the Emergency Department will begin Dec. 4 to allow construction equipment and vehicles to access the site.

The Security and Facilities departments are working on a plan to insure enough parking for patients who need easy access to the Cancer Institute.

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