PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — AdventHealth has opened a new $20 million emergency department at its North Pinellas hospital in Tarpon Springs.

Hospital officials said the area has grown exponentially, and a larger ER is needed to meet the increased demand.

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“The old ER is very small, this is definitely a more expanded, larger space,” said Holly Steele, ER Director. "We have almost 15,000 square feet here, where as in the other ER it's like maybe 8,000, so we've almost doubled our size."

Steele said plans for the new ER were in the works before the pandemic, and the timing now is perfect.

The expansion includes 18 private patient rooms for increased infection control and added comfort and privacy for patients and their families. This project is part of a larger expansion of the main hospital. The main hospital exterior façade will be completely renovated with a sleek design to allow the hospital to withstand Category 4 hurricane force winds, enhancing the level of patient safety. 

She’s worked in this hospital for over 10 years, and she’s seen the increase in patients as the community grows.

In the new emergency department, there’s a separate entrance for ambulances, allowing them to be more efficient and get to the next patient quicker, there’s also state of the art equipment, and 18 private rooms.

“This emergency department has long been needed by the community, it's a state of the art facility, and it's going to allow us to deliver on our world class promise of healthcare in this community,” said Dr. Michael Longley, Chief Medical Officer.

Hospital officials said the new ER will be able to see 36,000 patients each year.