Kingwood Medical Center held a formal groundbreaking ceremony Friday morning at the site of its future freestanding emergency department on the 1100 block of E. Houston in Cleveland. A hundred feet from the canopied-covered dais where 50 or so guests were gathered, work on the 10,000 square-foot building was well underway with crews performing dirt work for the utilities needed for the emergency room.
The groundbreaking was a long time coming, explained Melinda Stephenson, CEO of Kingwood Medical Center. For three years, Stephenson and her staff diligently searched for a suitable location for the emergency department in Cleveland before finally purchasing a large lot on the northwest corner of E. Houston and Easy streets.
“As many of you know, we didn’t get here easily or quickly, but we were determined and finally made it. This expansion has been a twinkle in our eyes for almost three years and, through many conversations, land negotiations and designs, we believe we have found a great location and a wonderful group of leaders, city officials and healthcare provides to work with,” Stephenson said.
She specifically thanked City Manager Kelly McDonald, former mayor Niki Coats, current mayor Otis Cohn, Fire Chief Sean Anderson and the economic development corporation for guiding KMC through the process.
The new $11 million emergency department, which is set to open next May, will include 12 emergency department rooms, X-ray, CT scan, ultrasound and laboratory testing.
“We will be able to provide outpatient diagnostic testing for procedures so patients can stay close to home,” she said. “We will staff our emergency department with board-certified physicians, emergency department nurses and emergency department medical technicians.”
The clinic will be open around the clock, seven days a week, 365 days per year.
“We will be here when you need us. We will partner with Liberty County EMS to provide transport to Kingwood Medical Center if you actually need admission. Our goal is to ensure that you receive quality care in a comfortable, safe environment from our caregivers who will always put our patients first and above all else,” Stephenson said.
Cleveland Mayor Pro Tem Danny Lee, representing the city on behalf of Mayor Cohn and City Manager Kelly McDonald, said the new emergency department is a “win-win” for Kingwood Medical Center and Cleveland.
“I am just honored and humbled to be here to see this growth in our city. It’s a great thing for Cleveland, for the entire community,” Lee said. “We are really proud of the growth and interest in Cleveland. The community and its citizens welcome Kingwood Medical Center.”