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Mercy breaks ground on $32M emergency department

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Mercy Springfield Communities held a ceremonial groundbreaking Friday for a $32 million emergency department that officials are calling part of its south campus.

Citing population growth in Ozark, Nixa and Republic, officials say the roughly 17,250-square-foot building at 3050 E. River Bluff Drive, along U.S. Highway 65 in Ozark, will be attached to Mercy’s orthopedic hospital. The system also operates a rehabilitation hospital at the south campus.

“Our patient base has been growing for many years,” said David Argueta, president of Mercy Springfield Communities, in a news release. “We knew we would need to build a second emergency department that served patients coming to us from surrounding communities on the south, like Christian County.”

According to the release, Mercy leaders spent years evaluating sites to serve the growing patient base – and meanwhile, the main hospital’s emergency department is now at capacity almost daily.

Officials estimate 15,000 patients a year will receive emergency services at the south campus. They also noted in the release the planned facility is about eight miles from Mercy’s main Springfield hospital campus at National Avenue and Sunshine Street.

“This new ED could mean a patient reaches an emergency room 20 minutes sooner,” said Marie Moore, chief nursing officer at Mercy Hospital Springfield, in the release. “That’s huge, especially for residents of Ozark and Nixa.”

Targeting an early 2025 completion date, officials say specific plans are still evolving, but the layout will include 11 beds, a trauma room, an isolation room and patient holding rooms. Olsson Inc. is the civil engineer for the project, while St. Louis-based Northstar Management Co. will serve as project manager. Architecture, planning and interior design firm REES, which has offices in Oklahoma City, Dallas and Houston, is signed on as primary architect.

“This is a huge investment in our region,” Argueta added in the release. “But we see every single day that the Springfield area is a major hub for health care in southwest Missouri, which means we must grow to provide the best care to our growing patient population. Southwest Missouri will continue to attract more residents, and we will be ready for that growth.”

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