CAROLINA FOREST, S.C. (WBTW) — Grand Strand Health opened a new emergency room in Carolina Forest Tuesday.
Carolina Forest ER is 11,000 square feet with 11 exam rooms and state of the art technology. Doctors and nurses will be able to treat many conditions, ranging from broken bones, to chest pain, to serious infections.
Licensed practical nurse Amanda Cholewa was excited to begin to welcome patients at the new site Tuesday. She showed off the new facility and its brand new equipment to News13 during her first day at her new post.
She believes Carolina Forest ER will not only help patients in the rapidly growing community, but also help to ease the heavy burdens on neighboring facilities.
“Our wait times down there have been astronomical because everyone’s been so sick,” Cholewa said. “So I think having Carolina Forest open here is going to alleviate some of that and it’ll probably take some of the pressure off Conway too.”
Among many other uses, the facility will allow paramedics to stabilize trauma patients before taking them to Grand Strand Health’s main trauma center in Myrtle Beach, if necessary.
“The population is becoming grayer and grayer as more retirees come down, which means we’re going to require more emergency room service,” Horry County councilman Johnny Vaught said. He represents District 8, where the ER is located.
Other local hospitals are working towards expanding or building new facilities along the Grand Strand, including McLeod, CMC and Tidelands.
DHEC records show several instances where area hospitals filed requests for final reviews on competitors’ Certificates of Need for new projects.
“That’s really unfortunate,” Councilman Vaught said. “Because all of that should really be coordinated as much as possible, because the need is there,”
Back to Carolina Forest ER, hospital industry experts say a facility like this can have a big impact on a region.
“Adding more capacity in that area, an area where we really have need, could really help a lot of folks get the care they need when they need it, which is incredibly important for what our hospitals do,” VP of Marketing and Communications for the SC Hospital Association Schipp Ames said.