Foundation completes first leg of hospital renovation


By Andy Winemiller - [email protected]



Ashly Lancaster, marketing director at Northern Hospital, points out the interior decorating in one of the hospital’s newly renovated rooms.


Andy Winemiller | The News

Northern Hospital of Surry County is wrapping up the first phase of a patient room renovation.

The hospital is planning to give 40 rooms a facelift, and the first hallway of 13 rooms is being completed, compliments of the hospital’s foundation and generous contributions from the public.

According to Matt Linville, Northern Hospital Foundation director, a campaign to overhaul the 40 acute care rooms kicked off in March, as phase one of the foundation’s “Life.Giving.Care.” campaign. Recently, the foundation received its final pledge needed to complete the first hallway.

The renovation of the 40 rooms will cost a projected $800,000, according to Linville.

“We want people to feel a little less like they are at a hospital when they are here,” explained hospital marketing director Ashly Lancaster.

Lancaster pointed out the hardwood floors, granite counter tops and other attributes which gave the rooms a bit of a homey feel. New furniture, a paint job which deviates from the traditional institutional white, and some interior decorating help make the new rooms a little more inviting.

The hospital itself invests in capital in a different manner, explained Lancaster. Items important to the quality of care received, like imaging equipment, are prioritized over such frills as decorating. The hospital is relying on the foundation to improve the aesthetics of the facility.

Lancaster said the foundation has stepped up to the plate in a big way. Though the foundation began decades ago, fundraising died off after some initial pledges. Linville was hired in 2015 and has worked to revive the entity.

It has taken less than a year to garner the pledges and grant monies needed to complete the first hallway. Each room costs $20,000 to renovate, and two additional hallways remain.

“This is just a great point in the campaign — to have one of those three halls complete,” said Linville.

He said the foundation’s campaign has been embraced by the community, with a number of businesses and individuals offering pledges. A $100,000 grant from the Cannon Foundation also was used to complete the renovations in five of the 13 rooms.

A hospital plays an important role in making a community viable, said Linville, and local residents and business understand that role. He said anybody in need of care — rich or poor — receives quality care at Northern Hospital.

“I just have to offer a huge amount of gratitude and thanks to those who have pledged to this cause,” said Linville. “It is money they have earned, and they are willing to give what is theirs.”

Sharon Reid and brothers Ron and Craig Greenwood are one of the many donors who pledged enough money to complete a room in the hallway. The siblings made the pledge in the names of their parents, Wayne and Sarah Greenwood; Sarah passed away in September.

“They were both life-long Mount Airy residents who used the hospital,” said Reid.

She said her mother received care at Northern in the last month of her life. When she was moved from the hospital’s intensive care unit to the second floor, she ended up in one of the renovated rooms.

“It made such a big difference,” explained Reid. “It took much of the stress out of the situation. It was almost like she was in a hotel room.”

Reid said her mother was always bragging on the hospital, so it seemed fitting to make a pledge in the names of Wayne and Sarah Greenwood.

“Everybody at the hospital was always so wonderful,” said Reid. “It is one of the biggest assets in our community.”

Linville said once pledges are received to complete all 40 rooms — and after a much-needed vacation, he joked — the foundation will turn its attention toward an overhaul of the skilled nursing facility at the hospital.

Ashly Lancaster, marketing director at Northern Hospital, points out the interior decorating in one of the hospital’s newly renovated rooms.
http://mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/web1_HospitalRoom.jpgAshly Lancaster, marketing director at Northern Hospital, points out the interior decorating in one of the hospital’s newly renovated rooms. Andy Winemiller | The News

By Andy Winemiller

[email protected]

Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.

Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.

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