Photo courtesy of NBC29 WVIR
Photo courtesy of NBC29 WVIR

The University of Virginia Medical Center is hoping to alleviate the pain of wait times and overcrowding in its emergency department as part of a $394 million expansion.

Emergency room doctors and UVA President Teresa Sullivan broke ground Wednesday afternoon on the new wing which will extend out from the current ER.

“We really care about the health of our whole population, but particularly those people who’ve got emergency issues. We can give them the very best of care,” Sullivan stated.

Artist rendering of ER expansion
Artist rendering of ER expansion

The project will increase the number of ER beds from 43 to 80. It will also be able to accommodate 80,000 patient visits per year. Right now, the UVA ER is on track to treat 60,000 patients this year.

“Every day is a challenge because of our current capacity issues. So, I think our patients deserve this and can’t wait to have it up and functioning,” said Dr. John Riordan of the UVA Emergency Department.

A six-story tower above the ER will add 84 private, inpatient rooms. It will also include three empty floors to allow for future growth. The expanded ER is expected to open in the summer of 2019.

Artist rendering of ER expansion
Artist rendering of ER expansion

(Source: nbc29.com/story/32177789/uva-emergency-department-expansion-groundbreaking) http://credit-n.ru/zaymyi-next.html