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Construction starts on $8.8M Huntersville emergency department

Carolinas Medical Center began construction Thursday on a freestanding $8.8 million emergency department in Huntersville.

The 17,000-square-foot emergency department at CMC-NorthCross becomes the second emergency-treatment facility for Huntersville, whose population has exploded 1,566 percent over the past 10 years, rising to 50,000 this year from 3,000 in 1990.

“What’s happening is the same thing that’s happening in many other outlying areas, which is if you were up there and you had an unexpected heart attack at 8 a.m., would you really want to go down the interstate to the emergency department?” said Carolinas Healthcare System spokesman Raymond Jones, adding that the hospital could help decongest the emergency room at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte.

It is the fourth such CMC facility in the Charlotte metro area. The first, CMC-Steele Creek, opened last year southwest of Charlotte. Another, CMC-Waxhaw, is nearly finished to the south of Charlotte.

Last week, CMS began construction of a third facility, CMC-Kannapolis, northeast of the city. It is scheduled for completion in fall 2011.

CMC is hoping to open similar emergency departments in Gaston and Cabarrus counties.

CMC-Steele Creek is averaging approximately 60 patients a day in its emergency department, roughly double original projections, according to the hospital.

The emergency department at CMC-NorthCross will have nine treatment bays and two observation rooms when completed in the fall of 2011.

CMC-NorthCross already has a surgery center, a pain-management clinic, an endoscopy center and a sleep lab.

Jones said the “explosive” growth in the Lake Norman region brought with it a need for the emergency department.

Tara Ramsey can be reached at tara.ramsey@mecktimes.com.

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