Sneak-peak and ribbon cutting ceremony for Regional Health's new Emergency Department

Regional Health Rapid City Hospital had a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Emergency Department expansion Sept. 7.

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Regional Health Rapid City Hospital is the busiest hospital in a three-state region with an average of 52,000 visits annually.

U.S. Congressman Dusty Johnson, Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender, and many others attended the Regional Health Rapid City Hospital Emergency Department ribbon cutting ceremony alongside hospital staff and first responders.

The gathering took place inside the larger drive-through ambulance garage where the Emergency Department director, Jennifer Murray, among others involved in the project gave speeches about the benefits of the new hospital expansion.

Regional Health offered sneak-peak tours of their new Emergency Department, as well as the Heart and Vascular Unit on Sept. 7.

Regional Health staff, partners, and community members had the opportunity to walk through the halls of the new facility before its official opening.

The Emergency Department expanded from 18,000 square feet to 44,000 square feet with more than 40 patient care areas.

Hospital staff said the goal of this three-year long project was not only to make the space larger but also have it equipped to more efficiently serve patients that come through its doors.

Another goal of the expansion was to protect patient's privacy.

"I think just the chaotic nature of what we do, it's controlled chaos. To us we're perfectly comfortable working in that but to people looking in from the outside, it seems very scary. We want to make everybody more comfortable, not just our patients. Families, visitors, our caregivers," said Jennifer Murray, director of the Emergency Department at Regional Health.

The new Emergency Department at Regional Health opens Sept. 11 at 4 a.m.