Aiken Regional Medical Centers breaks ground on new ER facility in North Augusta

·3 min read

Oct. 22—NORTH AUGUSTA — Aiken Regional Medical Centers held a groundbreaking ceremony for its planned ER at Sweetwater in North Augusta.

The freestanding facility is scheduled to open June 2022 off Austin Graybill Road near Exit 5, and will provide care for all ages.

"We are committed to meeting the health care needs of Aiken County so we can best accomplish our goal," CEO of Aiken Regional Medical Centers Jim O'Laughlin said. "...Our goal is to bring convenient, high-quality health care closer to home. Establishing a freestanding emergency department in the west end of Aiken County will allow us to better serve the needs of the community we serve."

The emergency room, according to Aiken Regional, is expected to open in June 2022 with 24/7 operating hours.

"Aiken Regional Medical Centers has placed the health of our community as its very, very top priority," said Gerald Gordon, infectious disease specialist and chairman of the Board of Governors at Aiken Regional. "We have all in this community risen to the challenge COVID-19 brought to our region. Constructing an emergency services route on this site is another good example of how our team is transforming health care delivery and bringing resources that are needed in a more convenient manner to residents in our region," said Gerald Gordon, infectious disease specialist and chairman of the Board of Governors at Aiken Regional.

"...(The) freestanding emergency department will provide top-notch care where minutes really matter, especially for those that are having strokes, heart attacks and other severe illnesses that require a rapid diagnosis and providing those services in North Augusta and this area of Aiken, residents can be assured that emergent care is needed to be available closer to home," Gordon said.

The emergency room will house six exam rooms with three rapid medical exam spaces. The more than 11,000-square-foot facility will also have full service radiology and laboratory services, and will be open with a physician on staff.

"We think this is going to be a great facility for us and a great option for citizens of Aiken County and North Augusta," said Chris DeLoach, director of Aiken County medical services. "... This would allow people to stay in their hometown and receive quality health care. The impact that a facility like this can have, when we talk about minutes, can save lives. Family members can continue to spend time together."

North Augusta Mayor Briton Williams also attended the ceremony.

"People get how critical it is for us to have this standalone ER in North Augusta," Williams said. "This is something, as citizens, we are going to embrace; and we have, so I think that is fantastic."

The city of North Augusta grew about 13% from 2010 to 2020, according to Williams and the U.S. Census.

Aiken Regional Medical Centers started as a hospital in 1917. The hospital today, now located near the USC Aiken campus, has 273 beds and provides a range of services. Over 1,700 health care workers and volunteers keep the hospital running.

Samantha Winn covers the city of North Augusta, with a focus on government and community oriented business. Follow her on Twitter: @samanthamwinn and on Facebook and Instagram: @swinnnews.

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