By Keysha Drexel
UAB Medical West broke ground last week in Hoover on the state’s first freestanding emergency room.
UAB Medical West, an affiliate of the UAB Health System and based in Bessemer, turned over the first shovelfuls of dirt Aug. 28 at the southwest corner of Interstate 459 and John Hawkins Parkway where a $13.5 million emergency department will be built.
The freestanding facility in Hoover is bringing together five Alabama businesses on a cutting-edge project, according to a news release from Harbert Realty Services, which has been a part of developing the plans for the 24,342-square-foot emergency center.
The new ER is being designed by Sims Architectural Studio Inc. and will be built by Brasfield & Gorrie. Medical Properties Trust is providing financing for the facility, and Harbert Realty Services is serving as the site developer.
The stand-alone ER will be a Level 3 trauma center and will include eight exam rooms, two trauma rooms, and CT, X-ray, ultrasound, EKG and other diagnostic equipment.
Keith Pennington, president and chief executive officer of UAB Medical West, said the new facility will bring a much-needed service to Hoover–the only city in the state with a population more than 60,000 that does not have a hospital in its city limits.
“Medical West is proud to take the leadership role in being the first to offer this new service that will expand healthcare access to the growing Hoover community–the largest community in Alabama without acute healthcare services,” Pennington said in a news release. “Further, we are excited to work with our team of Alabama firms that will bring cutting-edge emergency medicine to this area.”
UAB Medical West is projecting to see between 12,000-15,000 emergency visits per year once the stand-alone ER is open in the spring of next year.
The Medical West ER won’t be the only freestanding emergency department in Hoover for very long.
Brookwood Medical Center has plans to build a $19 million stand-alone ER near the intersection of U.S. 280 and Alabama 119. Baptist Health System was also granted an Alabama Certificate of Need to provide a freestanding emergency department in Hoover.
The Brookwood stand-alone ER could open as early as next summer, officials said.
Medical West applied for a Certificate of Need to build a freestanding ER in Hoover in 2010.