MARTINSBURG, W.Va. – Following water damage that happened in late May, WVU Medicine Berkeley Medical Center has announced over the weekend they came out of surgical and trauma diversion and were able to reopen two of their operating rooms.

Heavy rain over Memorial Day weekend that entered into a construction area at the hospital damaged multiple operating rooms and sent the local hospital system scrambling to cover surgeries that would have happened in the ten operating rooms impacted.
Since then, the hospital had been operating on surgical and trauma diversion, meaning it only accepted trauma, obstetric, and other emergent surgical cases. The reopening of two operating rooms will allow Berkeley Medical Center to come off diversion effective June 28 at 6 p.m.

“Berkeley Medical Center temporarily closed all 10 of its operating rooms in late May due to flooding that occurred during the hospital’s ongoing first floor expansion project from a construction mishap that resulted in a breach between the first and second floors allowing rainwater to enter. There were no injuries, but there was significant damage,” according to the hospital system.

“We are thrilled to be able to open two of our operating rooms even earlier than we anticipated,” said Jason Turner, M.D., chief of surgery at Berkeley Medical Center. “This milestone has been achieved through the outstanding efforts of all of our team members over the past four weeks. We extend our deepest gratitude to everyone involved including frontline staff, incident command center (ICC), anesthesia, surgeons, and administration.”

According to Albert L. Wright, Jr., president and CEO of the WVU Health System, two additional operating rooms will reopen on July 3. The remaining operating rooms will reopen by July 13, allowing the hospital to resume normal operations.

“The most important priority with the flood remediation and subsequent renovation has been the safety of our patients and employees,” Albert L. Wright, Jr., president and CEO of the WVU Health System, said. “Yes, we are charged with delivering high quality healthcare to all those who seek out our services, but we are also responsible for providing our employees with a safe environment in which to work.”

During the closure, an incident command center was opened to coordinate several efforts, including the evaluation of cases being moved to Berkeley Medical Center’s Outpatient Surgery Center and WVU Medicine Jefferson Medical Center, as appropriate.

To assist with rescheduling cases that were canceled or postponed, two mobile ORs were leased from US Medical Imaging for a three-month period.

According to Wright, the swift action of the teams at Berkeley and Jefferson Medical Centers demonstrates their commitment to patient care.

“This has been a significant operational challenge to which the teams at Berkeley and Jefferson have risen beautifully,” Wright said. “I’m incredibly impressed with their efforts and the progress that has been made in a relatively short period of time. Most of all, I’m very proud of the fact that every decision along the way has been aligned with our mission and values and our commitment to our patients.”

For more information about Berkeley Medical Center, click here.

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