Aiken Regional Medical Center breaks ground on new stand alone ER

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North Augusta, SC (WJBF)- Friday morning Aiken Regional officially breaks ground on its stand alone ER in North Augusta.

The new full service emergency room is going to be a boost to North Augusta’s economy. In fact the site was chosen in part to the growth North Augusta has been experiencing recently.

The approximately $12 million facility will be located on Austin Graybill Road near exit 5. The nearly 11,000 square foot ER will have 6 exam rooms, 3 rapid medical exam spaces and a total of 10 treatment areas. It will also have full service radiology and labs.

The CEO at Aiken Regional said the ER will help relieve the pressure felt by local hospitals because of the pandemic.

“With the recent COVID issue we’ve had for the last year and a half, it really has overwhelmed a lot of emergency rooms. Not only in terms of just many people coming in but also patients that need to be admitted to a hospital but oftentimes there’s a shortage of beds, so patients end up in the emergency room. This will really help decompress the emergency departments,” explained Dr. Jim O’Loughlin.

The new ER will be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, unlike most urgent care facilities.

North Augusta’s mayor Briton Williams said he was on the planning Commission when they approved the location for the ER. He believes the ER is a big deal for North Augusta.

“This is an absolute game changer. We have prompt cares, but that’s not the same thing as a stand alone ER. We talk a lot about quality of life. And this is really, not another restaurant or something like that, but this is a tangible, quality of life situation with the stand alone ER,” said Mayor Williams.

Dr. O’Loughlin and Mayor Williams will be joined at the groundbreaking ceremony by Dr. Gerald Gordon, Chairman of the Board at Aiken Regional, Dr. Virginia Winburn, Chief of Staff and Terra Carroll, president of the North Augusta Chamber of Commerce.

The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m.

The new ER is expected to be open by Summer of 2022.

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