Hospitals in Dunn, NC
PHOTO CREDIT: Antony Boshier
A new day in health care is dawning in Harnett County.
Soon, the half-hour drive many Harnett residents face for emergency care or a mammogram or an MRI will be over, as a new 50-bed hospital, dental and primary care facilities, and options for medical and dental training, open in what is rapidly becoming a vibrant medical corridor along U.S. 401 in Lillington.
“Soon anything a person needs, except the very most advanced technology or treatment, will be available close by,” says Phyllis Owens, director of the Harnett County Economic Development Commission. “This is opening up a door for better health-care opportunities for an area that has been underserved for so long, and also improves the quality of life for people looking to move here.”
New Hospital is Long-awaited
Harnett Health Systems Central Campus hospital in Lillington, due to open for patients in January 2013, is a $57 million facility that is a game-changer for an area whose rural population has been miles from most care. The new 122,000-square-foot facility, which anchors the new Brightwater Science and Technology Park, will offer a broad range of services, including emergency care, diagnostic imaging, cardiovascular diagnostics, outpatient surgical services, laboratories, pharmacy, physical therapy and nutrition services.
"Of course, nobody is anxious to be in the hospital, but people are anxious for the new hospital to be open,” says Mike Jones, vice president of the new hospital. “It will be convenient and accessible to folks in the area – and making health care easier makes it more likely to happen.”
Brightwater Park Adds Medical Assets
The new hospital has spurred a raft of other major health-care developments in the area.
The adjacent Brightwater Business Park will be home to a First Choice Community Health Center, which will offer dental, medical and pharmacy services to uninsured and underinsured patients, Owens says. The 32,000-square-foot center will include 16 exam rooms, treatment rooms, X-ray and lab facilities, a pharmacy and dental treatment rooms. It is scheduled to open by late 2012.
First Choice will work in partnership with East Carolina University, which is opening a branch of its dental school in a 7,700-square foot facility next door. Here, advanced dental students, under the supervision of dental school faculty, will provide services at a reduced cost.
Training Options Growing
Medical training is also dramatically expanding. Central Carolina Community College is building a 50,000-square-foot health sciences center, which should open in summer 2013, housing programs for medical assistants, nurses’ aides, phlebotomy, EKG and pharmacy techs and more. Students will also be able to receive clinical training at the new hospital. And Campbell University will begin building its highly anticipated School of Osteopathic Medicine, the first new medical school in the state in 35 years and the first-ever osteopathic medical school here.
“With all these things, and with the new businesses they generate – pharmacies, restaurants, hotels, doctors’ offices, services for people who take patients back and forth for treatment, we expect to see the added benefit of 200-500 well-paying new jobs over the next two years,” Owens says. “This is good for health care and good for our economy too.”
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