Mercy is introducing the first freestanding emergency department (ED) in the Northwest Arkansas region. Located at Mercy Bella Vista at One Mercy Way, the $2.6 million investment is part of Mercy’s strategic plan to increase access to health care across the community.
“If you look at where we are investing our time and resources you will see one common theme: increasing access to health care,” said Eric Pianalto, president of Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas. “And, yes sometimes that means blazing a new trail like the free standing ED. Access to health care plays such an important role in helping all our families have the fullest life possible.”
The 24 hour ED features lab, x-ray, CT scan and a specified medical helicopter landing location. Staffed with 30 Mercy providers and co-workers, the nine-bed unit is certified to operate as a traditional hospital-based ED.
“It was an honor for Mercy to be on the front end of developing this type of service for the state of Arkansas,” Pianalto stated. “In fact, soon after the state health department gave its final approval, a more rural area of the state was also able to open a freestanding ED. Again, the more access health organizations can provide the better it is for all of our communities.”
The unveiling of this ED comes on the heels of Mercy’s expansion of its hospital-based ED in Rogers, the introduction of its Mobile Health Unit and the construction of the country’s first virtual care center, which will connect Mercy providers with patients around the world via secure audio, video and data connections. The new freestanding ED in Bella Vista begins serving patients October 1, 2014.
This week Mercy celebrates Mercy Week, and the opening of the first House of Mercy 187 years ago. Catherine McCauley founder of Sisters of Mercy devoted her life to caring for the sick by expanding across communities to fulfill the need. Mercy NWA continues that legacy by expanding health and healing to the Bella Vista community.