Duke Regional Hospital just started the largest construction project since its opening in 1976.
On March 25, the hospital official broke ground to expand its emergency department and behavioral health branch. The newly constructed changes—funded by a $102.4 million investment from the University—are projected to open by spring 2021.
“While our campus is going to look a bit different in 2021 when we open exactly two years from now, our vision at Duke Regional Hospital remains the same: our aim is to be the best community hospital,” said Katie Galbraith, president of Duke Regional Hospital, in a news release.
The expansion will increase the number of private rooms available in the emergency department and Clinical Decisions Unit. There will also be a new 42-bed inpatient behavioral health unit made up of all private rooms and a behavioral health emergency department that will consist of 18 private rooms. The number of outpatient behavioral health clinic rooms will also increase from 19 to 30.
The expansion and changes will feature an exercise room, outdoor courtyards, natural light, more group therapy space and "other accommodations that enhance the patient experience." An electroconvulsive therapy unit at Duke South clinics will be moved to Duke Regional.
At a celebratory event Monday, 200 attendees heard from Galbraith and other speakers, including A. Eugene Washington, chancellor for health affairs and president and chief executive officer of the Duke University Health System. Duke Heath aspires to improve the lives of individuals and the communities it serves through this project, Washington said.
“Our patients, their families and their loved ones are why we’re here," he said in the news release. "Because of them, we are gathered here today fulfilling our mission and fulfilling our commitment to them to provide the highest-quality, patient-centered care.”