New mental health hospital could be on the way to Huntersville
HUNTERSVILLE – The first obvious change will come with the new sign. Formerly CMC-NorthCross, the sign on the medical building on Statesville Road, just south of the N.C. 73, will soon say CMC-Huntersville.
In the change, Carolinas HealthCare System is signaling its next step in competing for the growing number of new residents – and patients – in the Lake Norman market. Even before the sign arrives, workers already are hard at work gutting the largest part of the ground floor of the building to make way for north Mecklenburg’s first, stand-alone, 24-hour emergency department.
Rather than build another full-service hospital, like the one Presbyterian Health Care operates one exit south on Gilead Road, Carolinas Healthcare officials are opening the full-service, round-the-clock emergency department, with 24-hour lab and diagnostic services, like X-ray and other imaging, that patients would expect at a hospital.
The emergency department will take up 17,000 square feet and include two patient rooms, where doctors can keep someone overnight for observation.
If doctors think a patient needs to stay in a hospital, they only need to take a short transport east to CMC-University, according to Bill Leonard, president of CMC-University and the man leading the Lake Norman expansion.
Altogether, the regional hospital system is spending $14 million, Leonard said, and when the emergency department opens in November, people can start there for any services they need.
“This is our system’s major point of access to health care up here,” Leonard said, as he attended a reception earlier this month for center employees.
Carolinas HealthCare isn’t eliminating anything. Even the Urgent Care center, which once operated where the Emergency Department is going, will move south to Gilead Road and open in the former Blockbuster space in the Rosedale Shopping Center, which, interestingly enough, sits across the street from Presbyterian Hospital Huntersville.
Won’t the urgent care center compete with its own 24-hour emergency department? Leonard says no. “Because of the growth in this area and the number of new people moving into this region, we think there’s enough demand for both facilities,” he said.
South Lake Pediatrics and NorthCross Family Physicians also moved out of the center at 16455 Statesville Road but remain in new upfitted offices nearby. The pediatric group moved just north of N.C. 73, to 9625 Northcross Center Court, and the family practice to is even closer at 9726 Sam Furr Road.
CMC-Huntersville is keeping other services at its main building: a surgery center that can handle out-patient procedures including orthopedic, plastic, ear-nose-and-throat and gynecological procedures, an endoscopy center, pain management clinic, sleep lab and pharmacy.
With all the changes, Carolinas HealthCare is adding about 75 additional employees, Leonard said. Counting all its facilities, including Huntersville Oaks nursing facility, the system will have “several hundred” employees in the Lake Norman area.
North Mecklenburg doesn’t really need another full-service hospital, Leonard said, and he points to the 24-hour, stand-alone emergency department that Carolinas HealthCare opened 16 months ago in the Steele Creek area near Lake Wylie. That was the system’s first such facility, and it has attracted more patients than officials expected.
“This is the wave of the future – providing access to the full range of health services without the big structures,” Leonard said.
Mental health hospital planned for Huntersville
HUNTERSVILLE – Carolinas Medical Center’s parent company, Carolinas Healthcare System, has plans to build a 44-bed adult-inpatient mental and behavioral health hospital in Huntervsille.
In a presentation to county commissioners last week, system leaders said the 53,000-square-foot facility would cost about $24.5 million to build and the want to place near Huntersville Oaks, a nursing home and rehabilitation center on Verhoeff Drive.
Carolinas Healthcare officials plan to file for a certificate of need next month, and, if approved by the county and state, could have the new facility built by 2013, leaders told county commissioners. It could bring more than 100 jobs to the area, officials said.
The facility would transfer the beds from Broughton Hospital in Morganton.
Adult mental and behavioral health facilities have been in great need in North Carolina. Currently, CMC-Randolph, which has 44 adult beds, is above capacity.
Earlier this year, Presbyterian Healthcare got approval to transfer 15 beds for mental and behavioral health from Broughton to Charlotte.