EATON — Just over four months since Kettering Health Network announced it would build a freestanding emergency department at the Preble County Medical Center on Washington-Jackson Road in Eaton, officials broke ground for the project Monday, June 30.
KHN CEO Fred Manchur said he was proud of what he has seen in Preble County. He pointed out the community has “individuals who believe in the community,” including Judge Wilfrid Dues.
Dues and the Preble County Youth Foundation were a driving force behind the YMCA, Sinclair Community College Learning Center, and the Preble County Medical Center campus, which will now include the standalone ER.
Emergency services are critical, Manchur noted, for the community, for businesses, for people who move into the area and more.
“As we build, who knows where it will lead?” he asked.
Ohio Sen. Bill Beagle praised the project, which will bring better, faster emergency care closer to home in Preble County.
“The Preble County Medical Center enjoys great community partnerships,” Beagle said. “I wish you the best success.”
Preble County Commissioner Denise Robertson called Monday an exciting day in Preble County. “One of the greatest days in our history,” she added. “We’re breaking ground on a place which will save lives.”
“What is beginning today, I look forward to seeing what it brings to the future,” Eaton Mayor Gary Wagner said.
Dues thanked the Youth Foundation Board members for their focus on youth and families in Preble County. He noted, all the things the board has helped support are based on common sense.
“I think we’re all going to be surprised about what this is going to mean,” Dues said. “It’s just one more step toward a better community and a healthier community.”
The ER will be 11,400 square feet, and cost between $9 and $10 million. The facility is expected to open in early 2015.
The Eaton ER will have 8 to 12 rooms, and is expected to create 25 to 30 new jobs. Four physicians will be on staff.
“We are happy to be adding a freestanding ER to our medical center in Eaton,” Manchur said in March. “Our ability to do this is a result of the outstanding partnership that we have with the Eaton community. Through this partnership we will be able to provide residents better and faster access to quality emergency care closer to home.”
Eaton EMS/Fire Division Chief Jack Royer said part of the dialogue with Kettering has been about the level of emergency care to be offered at the facility. The services to be offered will be high level, which would allow Eaton EMS squads to bring car crash victims there for stabilization.
“It will be a great thing for us,” Royer said, noting that it will also allow families of crash victims to get to their family members more quickly, as opposed to driving 20 or 3o miles to a hospital outside Preble County.
The ERs are being designed and built by Synergy Building Systems.
Another new standalone ER is being built on West Central Avenue/Ohio 73 at I-75 in Franklin, located in northern Warren County. Construction at the Franklin location is under way.