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State-of-the-art surgical suite opened at Jefferson Medical Center
November 9, 2018

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SHEPHERDSTOWN -- For many years, Jefferson Medical Center staff have had to work with a complicated set-up for surgery at the hospital. But on Friday afternoon, those days of having to move patients from one floor to another or take indirect trips from one area of the building to another became a thing of the past.

The 5,400 square-foot Langlet Family Surgical Suite was unveiled to a room filled with community members, current and former hospital staff and the family of the suite's late namesake, Surgeon Jules F. Langlet, M.D. Langlet was a physician and surgeon on the medical staff at Charles Town General Hospital and Jefferson Medical Center from 1957 until his retirement in 2006, and also donated an area of land from his Jefferson County farm to the hospital.

"We're very proud of what we have here at the medical center, and particularly proud of this new suite. If we look back at Dr. Langlet's life, it is very apt to name this surgical wing after him," said WVU Medicine JMC President Anthony Zelenka, who welcomed the crowd to the grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony.

"We started this project three years ago, and we thought it would be one project, but it turned into four. We've accomplished a lot, and I think you'll be excited to see the results of that," Zelenka said, mentioning the final stage of the project was completed last month.

"Transportation throughout the building used to be a problem -- the suite aids in moving through the hospital. We went a million dollars over budget, but you'll see why," Zelenka said. "A lot of this work we did in-house, by our maintenance staff. We're very proud of that, because youll see how nicely it was done."

The suite has consolidated surgical services at the hospital into an efficient suite on the first floor. It includes a large operating room built to accommodate orthopedic surgeries and other complex procedures now being performed at JMC, as well as a surgical preparation and recovery area, expanded staff support space and a large visitor waiting room.

After the ceremony and ribbon cutting underneath the suite's new sign were completed, visitors were given a tour of the suite.

"This is where we do a lot of our big surgeries -- it's so much more convenient for us to use," said Surgeon J.C. Kletter, M.D., as he and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist Charlie Keeling answered questions about the suite's state-of-the-art operating room. "I'm glad we're on the cutting edge, and bringing this level of expertise to the county. I do many microscopic procedures, and we also will do other surgeries in here, including open surgeries and orthopedic surgeries."

For Keeling, knowing the man for whom the space was named gave the suite a deeper level of significance to him.

"He was always interested in everybody in the hospital. He knew my family," Keeling said, mentioning Langlet got to know him and his family, even though Langlet was no longer performing surgeries or working with the surgical staff when Keeling joined JMC about 20 years ago. "He was such a nice man."

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