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New Emergency Center Opens In Fort Worth

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - The new $57.7 million Marion Emergency Care Center at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth opened its doors Saturday morning.

Construction for the facility began in June 2012 to "better meet the growing needs of Fort Worth," according to a press release from the hospital. Fort Worth was recently ranked sixth on the Forbes list of America's fastest growing cities.

"This advanced facility will enhance our delivery of efficient, quality emergency care and service to our rising population - something we take great pride in," said Lillie Biggins, president of Texas Health Fort Worth. "We're excited to open our doors and show the community what we've designed for them."

Marion Emergency Care Center is categorized as a Level II trauma center, meaning it provides the most comprehensive care, with the exception of research and residency programs.

That means the new ER will have a 24-hour in-house team with on-call trauma surgeons, neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons.

The new building triples the square footage of  Texas Health Fort Worth's existing emergency department, adding three stories and increasing patient beds from 56 to 100.

The new ER is divided into four areas, ranging from a quick-care area to a smaller area designated for patients that will be released within an hour.

But the new center features much more than just emergency care.

A designated area for sexual assault victims was built. Texas Health Resources spokesman Stephen O'Brien says Texas Health Fort Worth began a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, SANE, program last year. The program has eight nurses specially-trained in medical forensic care on-call.

A new clinic for senior citizens is now located on the first floor of the facility.

According to the release, the Senior Health & Wellness Center, is staffed by two nurse practitioners and a geriatrician. The goal of this new section is to help care for senior patients who require quick follow-up care after an emergency room visit.

"[The senior center] will focus on treatment, diagnosis, and education on managing chronic conditions for patients and their families," O'Brien said.

Finally, a new simulation laboratory will act as a classroom for first responders in the Fort Worth. The Amon G. Carter Medical Training Simulation Center allows emergency personnel to simulate emergency situations in the back of an ambulance, an operating room, a resuscitation room and an intensive care unit room.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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