We recently filed a certificate of need—a legal document requesting permission to build or expand services—for a new freestanding emergency department we would like to build in Arlington, Tennessee. We will be building the facility in partnership with Regional One Health, the organization that operates the Memphis area’s Level 1 trauma center.
We have been working to bring freestanding ERs to the Mid-South for several years because we believe they will enhance emergency care in our area. The number of ER patients we treat has grown tremendously during the past few years. Last fiscal year, more than 400,000 people relied on us for emergency care. Freestanding ERs would provide another option, for quicker access during an emergency.
This will be our third effort to build a freestanding ER. Last year we submitted two certificates of need to build freestanding ERs in other parts of the Memphis area, but neither was approved. Since then, we have been working with the Tennessee Health Services and Development Agency (HSDA)—the group that approves certificates of need—to develop criteria that freestanding ERs need to meet to be approved. This freestanding ER addresses the HSDA’s concerns with our previous proposals, so we’re hopeful this facility will be approved.
The aspect of this project that excites me the most is our collaboration with Regional One Health. Its Level 1 trauma center is a true gem in our area. It houses Centers of Excellence in trauma and burn, and it is one of the largest medical and surgical teaching sites for the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC). More than half the doctors in Tennessee receive some or all of their training at Regional One Health through its affiliation with UTHSC. We are fortunate to have them as our partner in this endeavor.