Attention A T users. To access the menus on this page please perform the following steps. 1. Please switch auto forms mode to off. 2. Hit enter to expand a main menu option (Health, Benefits, etc). 3. To enter and activate the submenu links, hit the down arrow. You will now be able to tab or arrow up or down through the submenu options to access/activate the submenu links.

VA Mid-Atlantic Health Care Network


Salem opens private ward

photo of front reception area in Salem VA's new private room ward

Front reception area in Salem VA's new private room ward

By Krystal Connor, Salem VA public affairs
Tuesday, February 27, 2024

After three years of construction, the renovation of the Salem VA Medical Center’s 4J Med/Surg floor now boasts 20 private rooms with en suite bathrooms.

The $8.5 million project that began in December, 2020, gutted the ward to replace multiple occupancy rooms with individual rooms for the benefit of Veteran patients, their families, and staff.

As construction began during the height of COVID, crews fought against supply chain snags and the logistical hurdles of a large-scale renovation on the 4th floor of an active hospital. Large materials were craned onto the roof of the building and brought through temporary openings in the exterior wall to facilitate handling.

The project is being conducted in phases, and with the opening of 4J, the adjacent ward, 4H, is now closed and undergoing similar changes. As the Facility Management Service starts the renovation of 4H, they’ll be looking to the lessons learned in 4J to ease the transition.

One of the factors driving the ward upgrade were studies finding that transitioning from multi-bed to private rooms increased patient and staff satisfaction. Most rooms in 4J and 4H prior to renovations, consisted of two beds, with some rooms having more than two. Increased privacy and space support more holistic care, such as Physical Therapy, to occur on-site, and Veterans are better able to enjoy the company of their families without concerns of disturbing their neighbors. In addition, Veterans and caregivers can more freely discuss their care without worrying about privacy issues.

The spaces are also a boon for nurses and other caregivers. Each room supports telemetry for Veterans with more critical or complex health concerns, and all rooms have line-of-sight to nursing stations situated throughout the ward. Though they are still adjusting to the changes and the new layout, Nic Shoemaker, a Nurse Manager for Med/Surg, said patient flow on 4J is much more streamlined now. “Special considerations, such as isolation procedures and Veteran gender, don’t need to be evaluated before placing a Veteran in a room,” he said.

Standardization and wider halls have also increased the safety for both Veterans and staff. According to Robin Davis, Chief Nurse Manager, "the space in the renovated 4J exceeds those in community facilities and matches the level of care we strive to extend to our Veterans."

Through modernizing and providing privacy, the renovation of 4J has allowed the Salem VAHCS to improve the not only the Veteran experience, but also that of the staff who care for America’s heroes.


Get Updates

Subscribe to Receive
Email Updates