State OKs FirstHealth Hoke Hospital Plan
The state has approved a plan by FirstHealth of the Carolinas to build a hospital in Hoke County.
Word came down Monday from the N.C. Division of Health Service Regulation that it had approved the Pinehurst-based health system’s latest proposal. It also approved a request by Fayetteville-based Cape Fear Valley Health System to build a hospital in Raeford.
Last year, state regulators approved requests from both health systems to build hospitals to serve Hoke County. Both appealed. Now both are expected to withdraw the 2009 applications.
“We are pleased the state saw the value in our application again for 2010,” said Charles T. Frock, CEO of FirstHealth of the Carolinas. “The detailed planning for construction of the FirstHealth Hoke Community Hospital is well under way, and we hope to open the doors of the new hospital in early 2012.
“This is a great day for Hoke County residents. We look forward to moving ahead with the project and believe the choice that will be available to the residents of Hoke County is to everyone’s benefit. It is our hope that the process will move forward without delay and the added burden of additional appeals.”
The FirstHealth Hoke Community Hospital will have an emergency room staffed by Pinehurst-based Moore Regional Hospital physicians, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In addition to the emergency beds, the hospital will include eight inpatient beds, an overnight observation unit and one operating room, full laboratory services, state-of-the-art imaging technology, diagnostic cardiology and transport options via critical care transport or helicopter.
The hospital will be built to allow for expansion. Future plans for the 30-acre medical complex site on U.S. 401 include medical office space and other health care-related services and facilities.
“Speaking as a longtime resident of Hoke County, it’s extremely gratifying to get our own hospital,” said Julian King, vice chairman of the FirstHealth of the Carolinas Board of Directors. “A hometown hospital strengthens the sense of community, and I am so pleased at the decision to have FirstHealth bring Moore Regional Hospital-quality health care to Hoke County.”
In a separate matter, the Surgery Center of Pinehurst and FirstHealth resubmitted an application to build a freestanding ambulatory surgical center (ASC) that had been denied by the state in 2009. The state also denied the 2010 application.
“The Surgery Center of Pinehurst’s Board will receive a written report from the state regarding the ASC application, and they will determine the best course of any future action,” Frock said.
FirstHealth began providing health services in Hoke County in the early 1990s with physician practices. Soon after that, FirstHealth constructed a multi-million-dollar family care center and Center for Health and Fitness in Raeford. Dental care services were added for Medicaid-eligible children, and FirstHealth began coordinating specialist visits to enhance the scope of offerings available to residents.
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