Clarissa Fielder, managing nurse for Metroplex Hospital’s Transitional Care Unit, left, gives a tour of the new Progressive Care Unit to guests Friday during a dedication ceremony for the new Progressive Care Unit on the third floor of the hospital. The 16,000-square-foot unit officially opens at 10 a.m. Monday

By Rebecca Rose
Killeen Daily Herald

More than 30 new jobs are expected to be created with the opening of a new Progressive Care Unit at Metroplex Hospital.

Jeff Villanueva, vice president and COO of Metroplex Healthcare System, said the new $6.3 million facility will do more than provide an important service for hospital patients. “Once the floor is open, the project will create 35 new jobs for Killeen residents.”

Villanueva said the hospital already has hired 20 new staff members from Killeen and the Central Texas area.

Carlyle Walton, president and CEO of Metroplex, said the new jobs have already impacted the community. “People from here who were driving to Temple and further for jobs can now work here, closer to home.”

A ceremony to mark the opening was held Friday and featured a tour of the new 16,000-square-foot, 24-bed facility. The Progressive Care Unit was built for patients who are not sick enough for the ICU, but not well enough to transition to the med/surg unit. It will provide focused treatment for patients who may have cardiac issues and still need monitoring.

Gayle Deaver, director of ICU, TCU and PGCU at Metroplex, said the unit fills an important void in patient services. “We will care for those who are in ‘step-down’, in between med/surg and ICU. We have four rooms set up for dialysis and four for bariatric,” she said. “Plus, with two sub-stations on either end of the floor, nurses can focus more on patient care.”

Two isolation rooms hold prime spots in the corners, where patients are treated to sweeping panoramic views of the surrounding area.

“This unit is phenomenally beautiful,” Deaver said.

Mayor Pro Tem Scott Cosper was in attendance, and took some friendly jabs from the audience.

“He’s had a challenging week,” joked Walton, speaking from the podium. Someone in the crowd suggested that they could give him a bed if he needed it.

“This is a great event,” Cosper said. “It’s a catalyst for the community. Not only are they creating jobs, but they are high-paying jobs in a professional field. I’m thrilled about that.”

The unit officially opens at 10 a.m. Monday. Open positions are posted online at the hospital’s website: www.mplex.org/Careers.aspx.