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Nash Health Care welcomed a new era in local state-of-the-art medicine during a recent ribbon-cutting ceremony and open houses for the new Emergency Department and Nash Heart Center. The facility is scheduled to receive its first patients in late March. Nash Health Care held five open houses to introduce the facility to the community. These events welcomed Foundation contributors, Chamber of Commerce members, employees, and local officials. In addition, an open house on Feb. 2 for the general public allowed members of the community to tour the facility and receive information about the new buildings from Emergency Department and Nash Heart Center staff members.
“This is a milestone for Nash Health Care,” said Larry Chewning, president and CEO. “We are celebrating the largest expansion in our history, representing a $58 million investment. We look forward to the quality care that will be provided here.”
Of the more than 114 emergency departments in North Carolina, Nash Health Care has the 25th largest and busiest. Among hospitals not affiliated with a major medical center, Nash Health Care’s emergency department ranks as high as fourth. The previous emergency department at Nash Health Care was designed to treat 40,000 patients a year. However, last year the emergency department treated more than 65,000. The new Emergency Department will have the capability to treat 85,000 patients a year, Chewning said.
“I am excited for Rocky Mount and the surrounding counties,” said Dr. William Roper, the dean of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and vice chancellor for medical affairs, who was the keynote speaker for the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “This is not just about having a larger facility, but it is about the people we serve. We treasure the fact that we are able to serve the people of North Carolina,” he added, mentioning Nash Health Care’s recent management services affiliation agreement with UNC.
Because 20 percent of those treated in the Emergency Department –roughly 13,000 a year---are under the age of 17, health care professionals and administrators at Nash Health Care recognized the need for a specific area dedicated to pediatric patients.
The Pediatric Emergency Department includes a separate and distinct entrance, child-friendly waiting area, separate triage area including special radiology and imaging services designed for children and teenagers, and 10 pediatric-designated exam rooms. These unique amenities offer a more comfortable and safer experience for patients, their families and the doctors and other health care professionals who treat them. Nash Health Care is one of 8 hospitals in the state that has its own separate pediatric emergency department.
“Today is cause for celebration for many things, but I would like to thank everyone who made this possible,” Chewning said. “I am also thankful for our county commissioners, who have made a commitment to the health care of the community.”
The Nash Heart Center has been offering innovative, state-of-the-art treatment for decades; patients have been able to receive diagnostic cardiac catheterizations at Nash Health Care since 1989. Since 2011, these services have been expanded through a collaborative partnership between Nash Health Care, Boice-Willis Clinic in Rocky Mount, and Vidant Health. The Nash Heart Center now enables patients to have stent placement procedures performed locally. Since the beginning of 2011, the Nash Heart Center has performed hundreds of catheterizations, which have resulted in life-saving stent placements. The new Nash Heart Center is housed in the floor above the Emergency Department, bringing the latest advanced equipment to its new home.
Open House Celebration (pictured below)
Local officials recently celebrated the completion of the new Nash Heart Center and Emergency Department with an open house. The facility is scheduled to open in late May. Pictured are, from left: Michael Bryant, NHCS board member; Carl Daughtry, NHCS board member; Larry Chewning, CEO of Nash Health Care; Dr. William Roper, CEO of UNC Health Care, Dean of the UNC Medical School, and keynote speaker at the event; Vincent C. Andracchio II, NHCS board chairman; Dr. Gaurav Lakanpal, cardiologist with the Nash Heart Center; Dr. Maitreya Thakkar, cardiologist with the Nash Heart Center; Dr. Sudhir Prasada, cardiologist with the Nash Heart Center; Dr. David Varma, medical director of the Nash Heart Center; Sarah Heenan, executive director of the Nash Heart Center; Cindy Worthy, ED director; Joddy Amerson; and Wanda Sohn.
A treatment room in the Nash Health Care Pediatric Emergency Department.
A treatment room in the new Emergency Department at Nash Health Care.
Members of the community were able to tour the new Emergency Department and Nash Heart Center during a series of open house events scheduled during late January and early February.
Nash Health Care employees were present to explain the sophisticated and advanced technology available at the new Emergency Department and Nash Heart Center.