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Around-the-clock emergency healthcare is coming to the Perdido area. On Thursday, West Florida Healthcare announced the construction of a new $10 million freestanding emergency room in southwest Escambia County near Perdido Bay.

The Perdido Bay Emergency Room will be located on the northwest corner of Highway 98 and Blue Angel Parkway and will be ready to see patients in August of 2017, officials said.

“We are thrilled to be constructing a freestanding emergency room for the residents of the Perdido Bay area,” said Jim Cronley, Chairman, West Florida Healthcare Board of Trustees. “The population of that area continues to grow and we are happy to be part of that growth by providing new jobs and services that are designed to meet and exceed the healthcare needs of that community.”

The new Perdido Bay ER will include 11 private patient beds, laboratory and diagnostic imaging services, including a 64-slice CT scan, ultrasound and digital x-ray. The 10,820 square foot building will also include an ambulance entrance and convenient parking.

“From the very beginning of discussions about this project, it has been our goal to make it a true emergency department by including a full complement of services, staff and technology,” said Mark Stavros, M.D., Medical Director of West Florida Healthcare’s Emergency Department. “We will be equipped to handle everything from scrapes and sprains to patients who are experiencing chest pain and the symptoms of a stroke. Our nurses, physicians and staff will be trained in advanced cardiac life support and pediatric advanced life support.”

The Perdido Bay ER will provide 24/7 on-site emergency medicine physicians and maintain a staff of approximately 40 healthcare professionals. Currently, the closest 24/7 emergency room to the area is at Baptist Hospital in Pensacola, located about eight miles east of the planned site.

“The physicians and staff of the ER at West Florida Healthcare have worked diligently over the past few years to focus on delivering both quality care and a compassionate patient experience,” said Christopher Dorvault, M.D., Chief of Staff at West Florida Healthcare. “As evidence of this, West Florida is the only hospital in our area to be
named a Top 100 Hospital in the nation two years in a row by Truven Health Analytics and receive an ‘A’ rating in patient safety from the independent hospital watchdog The Leapfrog Group. This is the level of experience and expertise that West Florida Healthcare will be delivering in the new Perdido Bay ER.”

The construction of freestanding emergency rooms has emerged as a trend in the healthcare industry, with hundreds of such facilities having opened across the country in recent years. Louisiana-based Ochsner Health System recently announced plans to build its third freestanding ER within the New Orleans metro area.

West Florida Healthcare officials said the hospital is currently working with state and county officials to obtain necessary permits and approvals for the project. A groundbreaking ceremony will take place in March 2017.

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