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A new inpatient nursing unit geared toward orthopedic patients will be built atop an ongoing construction project at Kenmore Mercy Hospital in the Town of Tonawanda.

The $5.7 million project recently was given the go-ahead by the state Health Department, hospital officials announced this week.

A second floor will be added to the hospital’s new emergency department, which remains under construction on the south side of the building.

“This is all part of our master facilities plan, which also included the new entrance and the emergency department,” James M. Millard, hospital president and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

The 15,300-square-foot medical/surgical unit will feature 24 private rooms, a visitors lounge, a staff lounge and two nursing stations. Physical therapy rehabilitation services will be offered there.

Last year, the hospital completed more than 2,000 orthopedic surgeries, many of them elective procedures, such as total knee and joint replacement, according to Dawn Cwierley, a hospital spokeswoman.

The project will help meet the increasing demand for orthopedic services, she said.

The expansion will nearly double the hospital’s overall private room count, from 59 to 100, Cwierley said. The existing surgical unit will continue to serve general surgical patients once the new unit is completed.

Meanwhile, construction continues on the new 24,000-square-foot emergency department, which will feature 23 private treatment rooms and two resuscitation rooms.

Ground was broken in March for the approximately $14 million project. Construction on it and the new orthopedic unit is expected to be complete next summer.

email: jhabuda@buffnews.com