Project will nearly double the size of the Emergency Room and include Trauma Center rooms

Orange Park, FL – The growth continues at Orange Park Medical Center (OPMC). Officials with OPMC will break ground on an expansion and renovation of its Emergency Department during a ceremony on February 25 at 1 p.m.

The ceremony will take place on the new helipad that has been constructed to support the hospital’s new Level 2 Trauma Center, which is part of the expansion and renovation project.

For the past few weeks construction crews have been preparing the site, paving 183 new parking spaces and pouring the new helipad. The expansion and renovation of the Emergency Department will happen over phases, and is projected for completion in July 2012. During the first phase of construction there will be a temporary Emergency Department entrance, and signage will direct patients able to walk in to the Emergency Room to check in at the hospital’s Express Care.

“Our first concern during construction is for our patients,” says Marsha Easley, OPMC Chief Operating Officer. “We’ll remain open throughout the construction. But we don’t want people to try to maneuver through construction to figure out how to get to the emergency room. If they are walking into our emergency room, they’ll walk into our Express Care. From there, we’ll escort patients with serious conditions to the emergency room. Those with minor injuries or illnesses will continue to be treated in our Express Care. And all emergency services know exactly where to bring patients brought in by ambulance.”

Express Care is right next to the hospital and is an extension of the hospital’s Emergency Department. The entrance is visible from Kingsley Avenue.

When completed, the $18.6 million project will nearly double the size of the existing Emergency Department. The first phase of construction, scheduled for completion this fall, will add 13,000 square feet of new space. The last two phases of the project will renovate the existing Emergency Department space. When completed, there will be a total of 44 private rooms.

Two of these rooms will be state-of-the-art trauma rooms equipped to perform emergency surgery to support the hospital’s Level Two Trauma Center.

Four rooms will be conversion rooms that can quickly accommodate the special needs of psychiatric patients, and the project also includes installation of new CT scanner.

The new space will be built to accommodate four additional floors for future expansion plans.

The project comes on heels of a $6 million hospital project to add an open heart surgery program to its Heart and Lung Center. In December 2010 the hospital opened two new cardiac catheterization labs and two new operating rooms for heart and lung surgery.