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HARVEST, Ala. (WHNT) — Crestwood Medical Center is one step closer to bringing North Alabama its first freestanding emergency department. Thursday, it broke ground on the project.

The freestanding emergency department will offer services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It will be equipped to treat patients will illnesses and injuries that require a higher level of care than urgent care facilities.

Crestwood CEO Matthew Banks at the center, surrounded by others for the ceremonial groundbreaking ceremony.

The facility is being built at the corner of Burwell Road and Highway 53 in Harvest.

Crestwood’s CEO, Matthew Banks, emphasized the importance of the location, saying, “It’s access to care and care in communities where people live.”

Banks said a closer facility will mean a lot to the community during an emergency.

“Right now the nearest emergency facilities are over 25 minutes away, and time is money in an emergency,” Banks said. “People need that access to care that’s convenient, high quality, and really they can get the same services at Crestwood [that they can get] at our ER on Airport Road.”

The facility will be 11,100 square feet, housing 10 private patient rooms, including a specialized trauma room.

It will also have a helipad for medical transfers, a decontamination/isolation room, lab and blood bank services, and imaging services.

A rendering of the freestanding emergency department. Image credit: Crestwood Medical Center.

The freestanding emergency department will be staffed with emergency physicians, nurses, and nurse practitioners. Crestwood estimates 40 new jobs will be created.

If a higher level of care or hospital is needed, Crestwood will work with EMS to transfer patients to the main Crestwood campus in Huntsville.

Construction is already getting started, and it is anticipated the facility will open in early 2024.