Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Box Elder County hospital opens its newly renovated space

Outside Bear River Valley Hospital, a man is opening the door of an emergency department entrance while another man follows him into the building.
Brian Champagne
Emergency Department at Bear River Valley Hospital

People living in Box Elder County and even those who make the occasional drive through the area may be benefitted by a local hospital’s expansion that aims to prioritize comfort, safety, and quality of care for patients. UPR’s Katie White reports.

A ribbon cutting was held at the Bear River Valley Hospital emergency department in Tremonton on October 12, where hospital staff celebrated with the community. Attendees toured the renovated and expanded facility that took five months to complete.

“We tripled our space in the waiting room and we've added two triage rooms that really help us to see patients in a more timely manner,” Vonk said.

That was hospital president Brandon Vonk who says the expansion is long overdue.

In addition to the triage and waiting rooms, the hospital has redesigned patient flow areas, an outdoor courtyard with seating, new restrooms and storage areas.

“Utah is growing. I think this general area was maybe a hidden gem for a while, but now it's been found and we're seeing a lot more folks moving into our community,” Vonk said.

Each year, the hospital serves nearly 7,000 patients in need of emergency care.

“We've got two major freeways that run right here past our hospital and really, some unexpected things can happen out on the freeway, especially during the winter months. We have to be ready at all times,” Vonk said.

Fielding Fire and EMS department volunteer Gordon ‘Squeek’ Smith said one of the biggest accidents the department’s responded to was a tour bus that overturned during a snowstorm last December, injuring 23 people on board.

“[They] had our department, Tremonton, Snowville and I believe Plymouth — all the ambulances in this area plus Brigham City come up on that incident,” Smith said.

The emergency department expansion will help them get more people inside.

“Oh, it’s fantastic what they've done because earlier it was a very small cramped area,” Smith said.

Vonk said the new space allows families to gather in an urgent situation and helps staff to see multiple people at a time.

“Now we've got this waiting room that can accommodate our entire community and more for years to come,” Vonk said.

With Utah Public Radio, I’m Katie White.

Katie White has been fascinated by a multitude of subjects all her life. At 13-years-old Katie realized she couldn't grow up to be everything — a doctor-architect-anthropologist-dancer-teacher-etc. — but she could tell stories about everything. Passionate about ethical and informed reporting, Katie is studying both journalism and sociology at Utah State University.