Nearly 200 people gathered Thursday for a ceremonial groundbreaking at the site of Mercy’s planned $40 million multispecialty facility, which will add almost two dozen primary and specialty care providers in Springdale.
Hospital President Eric Pianalto, a native of Tontitown, said the Springdale clinic is the largest of seven in a $247 million expansion that will also add a seven-story tower to the Rogers hospital. He noted that the clinic’s proximity to his hometown deepens the meaning of Mercy’s effort to increase access to health care in the area.
“When you know the people being cared for are your family and your lifelong friends in the community that raised you, that work is very personal,” he said. “This is about providing a place for our physicians, nurses and staff to do what they do best, which is to minister in the healing hand of Jesus through their gifts and talents.”
The clinic will feature 29 exam rooms dedicated to primary care and 34 exam rooms for specialty care, said Dr. Steve Goss, president of Mercy Clinic. That space will accommodate 10 primary care physicians and 12 specialists “and that’s just to start,” he said. Some of the specialties will be cardiology, urology, pulmonology, orthopedics and ear, nose and throat.
The clinic will house a 24-hour emergency department with 12 exam rooms and one trauma room. There will be a helipad for acute cases in which a patient would be stabilized for transport to the Rogers hospital or farther away, depending on needs, Dr. Goss said.
Dr. Larry Schemel, whose Mercy practice is at 1110 W. Robinson Ave. in Springdale, will transition to the new facility when it opens, Dr. Goss said.
Mayor Doug Sprouse said city officials are grateful that Mercy chose to increase its footprint in Springdale.
“We do have a lot of exciting things going on in Springdale, but I’ll tell you, this is right at the top of the list,” he said.
Construction will begin immediately on the 60,000-square-foot building, which is expected to take 15 months to complete. The 31-acre site at Elm Springs Road and 48th Street, just off Interstate 49, allows room for anticipated expansion.
Pianalto recognized the Shewmaker family for its contribution of a $1.5 million lead gift that gives a robust start toward Mercy Health Foundation’s goal of raising $5 million for the multispecialty facility’s construction.
“We want to extend our deepest gratitude to Melba Shewmaker and other members of the Shewmaker family who have blessed us with one of the first major lead gifts of our Opening Doors capital campaign,” Pianalto said.
More details about the campaign will be announced at the Foundation’s O Night Divine Charity Ball on Dec. 2.