Tag Archives: Susie McMurry

McMurry West Tower, a by-the-numbers update

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Here you can see the front entrance of our new McMurry West Tower. When it opens this summer, it will provide 98,000 square feet of state-of-the-art medical space.

When finished, our McMurry West Tower and MRI building will have more than 3 miles of copper electrical wire laid within the walls. That’s enough to stretch from Wyoming Medical Center to the Casper Events Center.

The McMurry West Tower is set to open late this summer. It will provide 98,000 square feet for state-of-the-art medical care, 20 private surgical rooms and a new mother-baby unit with 12 private rooms.

As the weather turned colder this winter, workers for Haselden Caspar/ Pope JV  moved inside to frame out the building’s interior with more than 11,000 steel studs. Crews have installed 5,000 batts of insulation and are now hanging the 4,300 sheets of drywall. Now, you can imagine the shape, layout and space the rooms will provide for patients and families. You can also see the outlines of our new main entrance, spacious dining area and the Cottage Gift Shop. The tower will also have space for a 7,000-square-foot Wellness Center.

Many more impressive numbers can be found inside the walls of our new tower, designed to create a better hospital experience for the thousands of Wyoming families who come to us each year. Here are a few:

2 air-handling units, each weighing 55,000 pounds, installed on the roof to ensure quick and efficient air ventilation

More than 100 windows framed and installed

15,000 cubic yards of soil removed for caissons and foundations

275 tons of rebar used

4,411 cubic yards of concrete poured

1,400 sheets of thermax sheathing installed

3,300 exterior steel studs installed

10,000 feet of 6-inch metal strap blocking used

240 sheets of ¾-inch fire treated plywood blocking used

More than 8,000 feet of ¾-inch metal electrical conduit laid

More than 5,000 feet of plumbing piping installed

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The lobby is beginning to take shape, including space for a new coffee shop shown here. Designed with patients and visitors in mind, our new dining area, coffee shop, gift shop and chapel will serve as a central gathering place for guests.
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Crews work on two of the tower’s four new elevator cars recently. Between 75 to 80 crew members a day are working in the tower now.
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This photo shows the large walk-in freezers located in the kitchen area. Here we will have more room to offer more dining options and create a focal point for the lobby.
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While many of the floors have sheet rock already hanging on the walls, here you can see the metal skeleton of the interior.
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Another look at the spacious lobby. It’s now easier to picture of the tower’s eventual layout.
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Our new main entrance will offer a curbside canopy for drop-off and pick-ups, valet parking and easy access to Second Street.

For More

In “Little turns into big: Mick and Susie McMurry are building a healthier community,” read about the McMurrys’ generous support of Wyoming Medical Center and other health care initiatives in Natrona County.

See how far the McMurry West Tower project has come by comparing to these earlier posts:

July 9: West Tower Rising

Sept. 6: Construction Update, Fall 2013

‘Little turns into big’: Mick and Susie McMurry are building a healthier community

Mick and Susie McMurry pose with nurses from the Wyoming Medical Center's mother/baby unit, The Birth Place. Both Mick and Susie were born in the hospital in 1946, and they have been enthusiastic WMC supporters for more than 30 years. When the McMurry West Tower opens next year, a full floor will be devoted The Birth Place, giving parents and families the room and privacy to bond with their newest members.
Mick and Susie McMurry pose with nurses from the Wyoming Medical Center’s mother/baby unit, The Birth Place. Both Mick and Susie were born in the hospital in 1946, and they have been enthusiastic WMC supporters for more than 30 years. When the McMurry West Tower opens next year, a full floor will be devoted The Birth Place, giving parents and families the room and privacy to bond with their newest members.

Susie McMurry met Angela under the worst of circumstances. A car crash killed Angela’s mother and her husband. One son was flown to Children’s Hospital in Denver, another suffered a severe head injury. Angela’s family had moved to the United States from Tokyo and she spoke little English.

Susie, a longtime volunteer at Wyoming Medical Center (WMC) and co-founder of the patient advocacy group Gentle Hands, helped find housing for Angela’s extended family. She met with Angela despite the language barrier and provided whatever small comfort she could through the long recovery. Above all, Susie gave her time, becoming a familiar face in an unfamiliar town.

“Angela was here for a very long time. I spent many many hours with her,” Susie said. “It was every bit as meaningful to me as it was to her.”

If there is a theme to Mick and Susie McMurrys’ philanthropy, it is this: The smallest kindness can have big impact. And it is up to us to build the community in which we want to live.

The McMurrys have a long relationship with WMC, beginning when each was born at Memorial Hospital of Natrona County in 1946, 10 months apart.  It continues today with the couple’s recent donation to name the McMurry West Tower. Slated to open in 2014, the tower will add 98,000 square feet for state-of-the-art medical care, 30 new private patient rooms, a mother-baby unit and more.

Lending their support wasn’t a hard decision, Susie said: “If our citizens are healthy and they have access to great healthcare, then our community will be healthy.”

Humble beginnings

Both Susie and Mick grew up in families of modest means. Susie grew up in Elk Mountain and moved to Hannah in fourth grade. She studied elementary education at Casper College for two years before going to the University of Wyoming. She returned to Casper to teach first grade at Crest Hill Elementary.

Mick says he lucky because he’s never had to leave Casper – except for 19 months in the Army when he served in the 128th Assault Helicopter Company in Southeast Asia. He also studied two years at Casper College and two years at UW, but met Susie after college. They married in 1973.

Mick started a construction company and built roads across the state. They adopted their daughter, Trudi, and Susie retired from teaching in 1976.

In 1979, they became foster parents, caring for hundreds of children over almost three decades. They adopted their second daughter, Jillian, from the foster program and one of their six granddaughters, Alaceia (Lou) was one of their foster children before Trudi adopted her.

“I was gone the first 18 years of the marriage, building highways around Wyoming. Susie would usually have a few new children each week when I’d come home on the weekends. We did that for 27 years. We’ve never been without a car seat,” Mick said.

In 1990, the McMurrys sold the construction business and bought some oil and gas leases in Sublette County. That turned into the highly lucrative Jonah Field, a natural gas field that Mick describes as a great gift to Wyoming. With money from that endeavor, the couple founded the McMurry Foundation in 1998.

“We’ve had great mentors. We both grew up in modest beginnings, but our parents showed the value of giving back,” Susie said.

“And there were wonderful people in Casper who we’ve watched and been mentored by. I think that’s also our responsibility now: to be mentors to our children and our community.”

Building a healthy community

Susie McMurry holds a newborn baby in WMC's The Birth Place. Susie volunteers several hours a day with WMC patients as the founder of Gentle Hands, a patient advocacy group.
Susie McMurry holds a newborn baby in WMC’s The Birth Place. Susie volunteers several hours a day with WMC patients as the founder of Gentle Hands, a patient advocacy group.

Thirty years ago, Susie started Gentle Hands with Gail Kennah and Ellie Ellbogen. The program offers non-medical support to patients and families, providing everything from plane tickets to clothes to neck pillows that make hospital beds more comfortable.

Susie spends hours every day walking the halls of WMC asking patients and families how she can help.

“Patients are usually most often well cared for because we have a great facility and we have great medical people overseeing patients,” she said. “Oftentimes, families are the ones who are left without support, especially people who are from out of town or who have a new diagnosis that they or their families are struggling with.”

In 2001, the McMurrys made their first major contribution to the healthcare community with the McMurry Medical Arts building, a partnership between local physicians to provide needed office space. They also donated to the remodel of WMC’s emergency room.

Susie is currently a member of the hospital foundation’s board and served nine years on the WMC board of directors before taking a two-year break. She rejoined the board this year.

Today, they support the West Tower and the future of healthcare for our community and state.

“I could see the benefits not only for our community but for ourselves and our family,” Susie said of the project.

“If we have great facilities that can accommodate all the wonderful health services that we have, that would accomplish a goal that both Mickey and I seek: To make a better Wyoming. And that’s extremely important for us because our children and grandchildren also live here. This is where we live. This is the place we love.”

Paying it forward

Through the McMurry Foundation, their personal donations and the time both give through volunteering, Mick and Susie are building a healthier more vibrant community.

They hope others will do whatever they can do, however big or small.

You never know what influence you have, Susie says. She meets people all the time who thank her for the smallest of gestures.

“Every single person in our community can do that. You don’t have to be giant. You just start little and it passes on, it passes through, it improves. There isn’t anyone who can’t contribute positively towards our hospital, towards our community,” she said.

“You start little and little turns into big.”

 

Support the West Tower

West_Tower_Front_DoorThe McMurry West Tower will open in 2014, providing 98,000 square feet for state-of-the-art medical care. It includes a new front door and lobby with a curbside canopy for drop-offs and pick-ups, more than 30 new private patient rooms and a new mother-baby unit.

In October 2012, The Wyoming Medical Center Foundation kicked-off the McMurry West Tower Capital Campaign with a goal of raising $3 million. It has secured $2.1 million so far.

The campaign has several giving levels and naming opportunities, starting at $1,500, which can be pledged over five years. For questions, to make a donation or to get involved with the project, contact the foundation at 577-2973 or go to www.wyomingmedicalcenter.org/giving.

Click here to read more about what the McMurry West Tower will offer.