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The first surgeries in the new addition at PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center occurred Wednesday.
"Ketchikan now has operating rooms as fine as any I've worked in or seen," Dr. Steven Becker, who was the first surgeon to perform in the new addition, said. Becker specializes in orthopedics.
KMC's surgical team and vendors recently tested all of the new equipment and systems in the surgery center, according to Nancy Tieman, interim chief administrative officer. The successful tests cleared the way for use of the center.
The schedule for surgeries in the new center will increase until May when a full caseload is likely, she said. By then the old operating rooms will be closed and the space will be cleared.
The equipment in the old rooms that remains useful will be donated to Ketchikan businessman Dan Christensen for a heathcare ministry he supports in Ghana, West Africa.
Vacating the old surgery rooms will allow space for a public corridor into the new addition.
The hospital addition that includes the new surgery center and is owned by the City of Ketchikan cost about $58 million.