Starting today, the trip for emergency medical care is getting a lot quicker for residents of Green and surrounding communities.
Akron General Health System will begin seeing patients at 7 a.m. in its newest full-service, community-based emergency department, off Massillon Road in Green.
The Green emergency department follows the same model as Akron General’s satellite emergency rooms in Bath Township and Stow, which are staffed around the clock by board-certified emergency medicine doctors from the main campus.
Akron General expects to treat about 40 children and adults a day from communities in southern Summit and northern Stark counties, said Steve Abdenour, senior vice president of system operations for Akron General Health System.
“We’ve got a model that’s been proven successful, and they’ve been embraced by the communities,” he said.
Patients typically are treated and released from Akron General’s satellite emergency departments within 2 › hours after they arrive, said Anne Cartwright, director of the emergency departments at Akron General Health & Wellness centers.
The new 15-room satellite emergency department is part of a $32 million Health & Wellness Center that Akron General is developing in Green.
The laboratory and radiology imaging center that serves the ER also will offer outpatient diagnostic testing, starting today. Those services were relocated from a facility Akron General had been leasing on Boettler Road for an outpatient center.
The second phase of the project — featuring the LifeStyles medically based fitness center and a community conference center — is to open in July. A $7 million medical office building also will be constructed adjacent to the center as part of the expansion plans.
When the entire project is complete, it will employ about 230 people, Abdenour said.
Although it’s still under construction, almost 400 memberships have been sold for Green LifeStyles, which will be similar to the fitness centers in Bath Township and Stow.
Akron General is moving forward with a plan to spread its model for health and wellness across the region and nation.
Several potential clients have expressed interest in developing their own versions of Akron General’s Health & Wellness Centers with help from Integrated Wellness Partners LLC, Abdenour said. The partnership between Akron General and Signet Development Ltd. of Akron formed last fall to help hospitals, universities, cities and other customers nationwide develop similar facilities.
The opening of Akron General’s emergency department in Green comes a few months before cross-town rival Summa Health System is launching its own ER about a mile away.
The Summa Emergency Department at Green, off Massillon Road in the Heritage Crossings development, is expected to open this summer.
The $17 million facility will include 14 private exam rooms and two resuscitation rooms and will be staffed by board-certified emergency medicine physicians, Summa spokeswoman Jennifer Farquhar said.
Summa’s satellite emergency department will offer bedside registration so family members can stay with their loved ones, Farquhar said.
“The whole facility is very family-centered so care can be provided in a comfortable and efficient environment,” she said.
Like the Akron General ER, the Summa facility will target patients from southern Summit and northern Stark counties.
Hospitals throughout the country increasingly are embracing free-standing emergency departments as a cost-effective way to expand services while trying to increase market share.
According to the American Hospital Association, about 6.6 percent of the nation’s 4,069 community hospitals had freestanding emergency departments in 2010.
The number of satellite ERs increased roughly 11 percent from 2009 to 2010, from 241 to 268, according to the most recent data available.
Cheryl Powell can be reached at 330-996-3902 or email@example.com. Follow Powell on Twitter at twitter.com/abjcherylpowell.