WHITEVILLE, NC (WECT) - Despite being in a rural community, workers at Columbus Regional Healthcare System take pride in being able to compete with others when it comes to technology.
They say that they were the first hospital in the state to get a breast tomosynthesis machine, and currently they're one of only two hospitals with the machine.
"You can take 3-D images of the breast," said Todd Howell, the Chief Operating Officer at Columbus Regional. "Most traditional mammography take 2-D images. But with this, we can actually position and look through the breast, so people with dense breast or a history of breast disease, we can actually find things more quickly."
Outside the hospital, the stage is set for an expansion.
Howell says they're getting ready for a $5 million expansion. Construction will include another operating room and endoscopy suite.
"There's a lot of services we're not able to offer in the center, because we don't have the physicians," said Howell. "People have to drive to Wilmington, Duke, and Lumberton. By offering that, we'll be able to provide those services and recruit people we can't recruit."
A new employee parking lot is also planned.
Howell says that they're also working with others in the community to bring a wellness center to the county, which is ranked the unhealthiest in the state.
"We're trying to do what we can to move that ranking from 100 to hopefully, a higher ranking." Added Howell.
Construction on the hospital is expected to be finished by next October.