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Emergency entrance access rerouted

Emergency patients arriving at St. Joseph's Area Health Services should use the ambulance ramp entrance located on the north end of the hospital starting Monday. St. Joseph's east emergency entrance will close due to construction and remodeling. Watch for signs directing traffic. (Submitted photo)

St. Joseph's Area Health Services wants the public to be aware of Emergency Department (ED) access changes coming due to construction in the next several weeks.

Beginning Monday, the east emergency public entrance (St. Joseph's former entrance) will close when renovation projects start in this sector of the hospital. Patients arriving to seek emergency care should use the ambulance ramp entrance located on the north end of the hospital.

Signs will be posted to further direct patients.

This entrance will be closed for approximately one week to 10 days.

Patients can also use St. Joseph's new main lobby (south) as an alternate entrance from 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on weekends. They may register at the main lobby registration area or follow signs to the ED admissions area to register.

"We are asking the public to be alert of these changes as St. Joseph's enters its final phases of construction," says Deb Haagenson, St. Joseph's Vice President of Patient Care. She further explains that great care has been taken to cause as little inconvenience to the public as possible during this temporary transition to a newer, enhanced and expanded emergency treatment area.

More changes

Once the east emergency entrance reopens, the ambulance entrance ramp will close to all traffic.

All ambulances and vehicles arriving or departing St. Joseph's will be directed to use the east emergency entrance at this time.

Haagenson says they predict work on the ED entrance ramp to begin the week of March 23 and run through Memorial Day; and if all goes well to be completed at that time.

The purpose of this closing is to allow a fully-enclosed ambulance entrance to be built. The end result will be an entrance which protects patients from Minnesota's most brutal elements, provide easy access with automatic doors and give patients privacy during their transition to St. Joseph's.

St. Joseph's will be in close contact with ambulance services during this time, and, once again the public will be urged to watch for signs during this phase of the construction.

As an alternate emergency entrance, patients can use the new main lobby entrance located on the south end of the building during lobby hours as listed above.

"Patient care is always our number one priority," Haagenson notes. "We are asking everyone to bear with us as our medical facilities are updated into a modern heath care model in which to receive quality care."

All construction and remodeling projects are expected to be complete this summer.