Work under way on new SouthPark emergency center

With the SouthPark area having the second highest amount of business space in North Carolina, behind uptown Charlotte, Carolina’s HealthCare System leaders knew making south Charlotte the home of their fifth stand-alone emergency department was the right step.

Carolina’s HealthCare held a groundbreaking ceremony Jan. 16 to kick off construction for their new emergency department. Carolina Medical Center’s Morrocroft campus is located at 6965 Fairview Road, across from Philip’s Place, and currently has medical office buildings and an urgent care facility.  Carolina’s HealthCare officials say the freestanding emergency department, which they hope to open in March of 2014, was the logical direction to go with the current development already on the property.

“We have owned and been developing that campus for quite a while and this seemed to be a natural extension of our emergency services,” said Joe Piemont, president and chief operations officer with Carolina’s HealthCare.

The new 30,000-square-foot facility will cost about $28 million, which includes initial costs of the site, construction and all equipment for the emergency center. The facility costs more than previous emergency departments because CMC typically does construction on undeveloped “green areas,” Piemont said, as opposed to the crowded Morrocroft site.

Although costs are higher to build the emergency department in the SouthPark area, Piemont said it’s worth it to better serve the Charlotte community.

“I think there is a need for emergency services in and around the Charlotte metropolitan area,” he said.  “You can either put them on an expansion of an existing department or you can satellite them.”

Other stand-alone emergency departments in the CMC community range from CMC-Huntersville, where the facility cost $12.4 million, to CMC-Waxhaw, where the facility cost $21 million.  CMC also has other stand-alone emergency departments in Steele Creek and Kannapolis.  The groundbreaking ceremony for the Harrisburg facility will be held next month.

The Morrocroft emergency department will have 14 treatment rooms, two observation rooms, advanced diagnostic imaging and laboratory and pharmacy services and will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year.

Piemont hopes this addition to the Morrocroft campus helps CMC better serve the SouthPark community, with the closest CMC hospitals with emergency services to those areas being at CMC-Pineville and CMC-Main.

“We are just pleased to be there and the opportunity to develop a new service for the folk who live and work in and around Charlotte,” he said.  “The closer we can bring our services to those living in Charlotte, the better.”

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