East Alabama Medical Center and Auburn University officials, along with Auburn Mayor Ron Anders, marked the completion of the Auburn Medical Pavilion in the Auburn Research Park off of Shug Jordan Parkway at a ribbon-cutting ceremony last Friday.
The 84,000 square foot, $37 million facility will bring an array of services, and about 100 jobs, to the Auburn community, including the state of Alabama’s sixth freestanding emergency department, the East Alabama Ambulatory Surgery Center, and a Breast Health Center, which is still under construction and slated to open later this year.
“This turned out to be the perfect location for this facility,” said EAMC CEO and President Laura Grill. “And I wondered would we ever see it come to reality, and it has and it’s beautiful. And it’s going to be such a blessing to members of this community and this side of Auburn.”
EAMC will now work on getting the pavilion accredited and fully staffed, said Grill, who added that the pavilion is currently about 95 percent staffed.
“We had to have the staff on board to get ready to open in a phased approach, and we still have several state accreditations we have to go through by the different accrediting agencies, whether that’s for the surgery area or others,” said Grill.
The combination of EAMC’s Emergency Medical Services location on Pumphrey Avenue and the Auburn Medical Pavilion’s emergency department should result in quicker response times in emergency situations, said Grill, who added that the pavilion’s ED, which has 12 exam rooms, isn’t designed for ambulances to bring patients in.
“It’s really designed for more of that walk-in help,” she said. “Now, if a patient needs to be transferred because they come here because they’ve had a bad accident, our physicians would triage and our ambulance service would transfer them. So because we have an ambulance station just right here on Pumphrey Avenue, that transport time will be much, much quicker. I think this is a growing part of Auburn and access to care over here just makes it much more accessible for members of this side of the community.”
The Auburn Medical Pavilion will also include a retail pharmacy on the first floor, and four operating rooms and four endoscopy rooms in the second-floor surgery center staffed by physicians that will provide certain outpatient procedures in specialities that include orthopaedics, ear, nose and throat, plastic surgery, ophthalmology, gastroenterology and general surgery.
Mayor Anders noted the long-standing partnership between EAMC and the city of Auburn and thanked hospital staff for helping the community through the pandemic.
“Today is a great new chapter in that wonderful partnership,” said Anders, who added that the decision to fund $2 million in infrastructure improvements to the road servicing the location was “one of the easiest decisions we’ve ever made.”
“It’s truly, truly an exciting day for our community,” he added. “This location brings critical medical resources to all of Auburn’s residents.”
The 24-hour, seven-day-a-week Auburn Medical Pavilion will open in phases between the end of June and September.