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Business Journal: Baptist Health breaks ground for new hospital

Posted: July 18, 2014 - 3:34pm
Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe was on hand for the ground-breaking ceremony of the new Baptist Health-Conway hospital, which is slated to open in 2016 in Conway.
Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe was on hand for the ground-breaking ceremony of the new Baptist Health-Conway hospital, which is slated to open in 2016 in Conway.

Baptist Health held a ground-breaking ceremony recently on a 37-acre site in Conway to mark the start of construction on the new Baptist Health Medical Center-Conway. Baptist Health president and CEO Troy Wells, Gov. Mike Beebe, civic leaders, community members, local physicians and Baptist Health employees celebrated the official start of construction for the 96-bed hospital that will be located on the west side of Interstate 40 in Conway.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for Baptist Health to expand services to the residents of the Conway area,” said Wells. “Conway and the surrounding areas deserve the best in healthcare services, and we can’t wait to meet their needs in a state-of-the-art facility. Not only will this new hospital serve this community’s health needs, but it will also contribute to an increase in local employment and it will help to attract new businesses.”

The 216,000-square-foot Baptist Health Medical Center-Conway is projected to open in the first quarter of 2016 with 96 beds, eight operating rooms and a Level III trauma-center emergency room.

“This new, three-story medical center will address the healthcare needs of Faulkner County and surrounding areas, which have experienced unprecedented population growth over the past 10 years,” added Wells.

Baptist Health collaborated on this project with more than 30 Conway-based physicians to develop the new medical center. It will be operated as a not-for-profit, faith-based community hospital offering comprehensive clinical services.

“Today’s ground-breaking is the culmination of years of hard work and perseverance by a dedicated group of physicians and steering committee who have worked closely with Baptist Health Administration on the development of this project,” said Dr. Ben Dodge, Orthopedic Surgeon and Chairman of the Physician Steering Committee. “We are impressed with Baptist Health’s professionalism, integrity and insight into the healthcare needs of Arkansans. We now look forward to construction and subsequent opening of Baptist Health-Conway in early 2016.”

Design photos for the new Baptist Health Medical Center-Conway were unveiled to those in attendance at the ground-breaking. Several dignitaries, including Gov. Beebe and community leaders, helped Baptist Health officials with the shovels to mark the beginning of construction.

The construction project is expected to generate approximately 250 jobs. At the time of completion, Baptist Health Medical Center-Conway will employ around 425 healthcare professionals and staff committed to improving the health of the community.

The estimated cost of the entire project is $130 million. GSR Andrade is providing architectural design services, and CDI is serving as the General Contractor.

“Baptist Health’s vision is to improve the health of Arkansans by changing the way healthcare is delivered,” said Wells. “We believe this new medical center will greatly benefit the residents of this area by ensuring a strong and sustainable future for healthcare.”

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