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2008 Press Releases
Morton Plant Mease Health Care Opens Bardmoor Emergency Center

First Freestanding ER Located in Tampa Bay Area

LARGO, Fla., (February 27, 2008) - Morton Plant Mease Health Care is improving access to emergency care services in central Pinellas County with the opening of the Tampa Bay area’s first freestanding emergency room (ER). Located at 8839 Bryan Dairy Road in Largo, Bardmoor Emergency Center is on the first floor of the newly constructed three-story medical office building immediately adjacent to the Bardmoor Outpatient and Surgery Center. The ER is anticipated to open to the community in March.

“We saw a need in the Bardmoor community for more convenient access to emergency medical services. Not only does the Bardmoor Emergency Center provide improved access to emergency services by being based in the heart of central Pinellas County, the facility offers the same high level, quality care you would find at any Morton Plant Mease hospital ER,” said Philip K. Beauchamp, F.A.C.H.E., president and chief executive officer, Morton Plant Mease Health Care.

Freestanding ERs are those that are separate and not attached to an inpatient hospital structure.

Bardmoor Emergency Center is a 15,000 square foot, 15-bed facility that includes:

  • Radiology testing services such as digital x-ray equipment and a computed tomography (CT) scanner
  • Laboratory testing and on-site pharmacy services for patient testing and care
  • Plasma TV screens displaying a tracking system of patient care throughout the ER
  • Three ER beds that are part of a 23-hour observation unit for patients who need additional medical evaluation, but do not need to be admitted to a hospital

“With two area ERs closing over the last ten years, a real void was created related to emergency care. Bardmoor Emergency Center adds ER beds to a densely populated area that has lost ER capacity over the years,” said Stephen Haire, M.D., F.A.C.E.P.,chairman, department of emergency medicine, Bardmoor Emergency Center and medical director, Morton Plant Hospital Emergency Department. “Bardmoor Emergency Center will serve the community 24 hours a day, seven days a week and be staffed by physicians board-certified in emergency medicine. But should a patient need a higher level of care, he/she can be transported to an inpatient room at Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater – the closest Morton Plant Mease hospital to Bardmoor.”

“ER admissions are integrated between Bardmoor Emergency Center and the hospitals of Morton Plant Mease, so the process of transferring a patient is shortened and streamlined,” added Brian Charity, D.O., F.A.A.E.M., medical director of the Bardmoor Emergency Center. Additionally, patients can be transported to hospitals outside Morton Plant Mease if needed.

Meeting the High Demand of Emergency Care

Morton Plant Mease estimates members of the Bardmoor/mid-Pinellas community experience approximately 84,000 visits to ERs each year. During a medical emergency, when time is of the essence, many people may drive 15 minutes or longer out of the local area to get to the closest ER and then encounter an ER wait of two hours or more.

“ER wait times and overcrowding are issues health care systems across the nation including Morton Plant Mease are working to improve upon. By bringing more emergency services to the community, our goal is to help alleviate the issues and meet the underserved needs of patients in the Bardmoor community,” said Beauchamp.

Construction and Design

The construction cost of Bardmoor Emergency Center is an estimated $9 million dollars. The architectural firm is TRO/The Richie Organization based in Boston, Massachusetts. The developer is the Graham Group, Inc. of Des Moines, Iowa and the general contractor is Diaz Fritz Isabel based in Tampa, Florida. The facility is one of only four freestanding ERs in Florida. The other freestanding ERs are Munroe Regional Medical Center in Ocala, Fort Walton Beach Medical Center in Fort Walton Beach and Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach.

About Bardmoor Outpatient and Surgery Center

Bardmoor Outpatient and Surgery Center opened in 1998 providing services for radiology, laboratory, surgery and endoscopy, rehabilitation, and centers for hernia, sleep disorders and massage therapy. These services are offered to the community by medical practices at Bardmoor that represent more than 100 physicians. Recently Morton Plant Mease completed the construction of a 75,000 square foot medical office building and the renovation and redesign of approximately 20,000 square feet of office space within Bardmoor. The new medical office building offers expanded services for cardiology, sleep disorders, orthopaedics, endocrinology, internal medicine, oncology, general surgery and podiatry.

About Morton Plant Mease

Nationally recognized for health care excellence, Morton Plant Mease Health Care is dedicated to providing community owned health care services that set the standard for high-quality, compassionate care. Morton Plant Mease Health Care is comprised of the following hospitals – Morton Plant, Clearwater; Mease Dunedin, Dunedin; Mease Countryside, Safety Harbor and Morton Plant North Bay, New Port Richey.

Contact: Beth Hardy (727) 298-6199 Phone, (727) 402-8113 Pager or Amy Morrow (727) 461-8538 Phone, (727) 402-7586 Pager