Christiana Care will open the doors to its new, $34 million Middletown Emergency Department on Tuesday.
"We're working on getting all of our supplies put away and adding the finishing touches now," Nurse Manager Kara Streets said this week.
Once open, the 36,500-square-foot, two-story facility off Del. Route 299 near Brick Mill Road will provide emergency medical services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The new center will act as an intermediate emergency care facility that specializes in treating serious, but not life-threatening, medical emergencies.
"Anyone will be able to walk in, no matter what their medical problem is," Streets said. "But if it's a critical issue, like a gunshot wound, a stabbing, a serious car accident or a known heart attack, we will stabilize the patient before moving them to a trauma center at a hospital."
She said the main role of the new Middletown facility would be to treat less serious medical issues, including but not limited to broken bones, minor lacerations and patients suffering from the flu and other ailments.
"We'll also be different from our medical aid units, like the one off Bunker Hill Road, which have set hours and more limited lab and imaging services," she said.
Christiana Care officials say they expect to treat about 1,250 patients a month at the new Middletown facility, including walk-ins and those brought in by ambulance.
The Middletown Emergency Department includes a six-room super-track area immediately inside the front door, where patients suffering with minor emergencies can be treated.
The main treatment area, meanwhile, features a central nursing station and 13 individual patient rooms, complete with all the medical equipment one might expect at a hospital emergency room.
Another eight private rooms will be dedicated observation units, where recovering patients can be monitored while staff determines whether they should be released or transferred to a hospital.
The remainder of the building includes administrative offices, a decontamination room, a laboratory, imaging suites and a second-floor conference room.
A helicopter pad also is available on the 108-acre campus in the event patients require immediate transportation to other facilities.
A total of 90 people will be employed at the Emergency Department, although day-to-day staffing levels will vary based on the times and days when patient arrivals are anticipated, Streets said.
The staff will include five full-time, board-certified emergency doctors, including Drs. Christopher Rogan, Jennifer Mink, Erin Watson, James Carroll and Paul Sierzenski, as well as medical director Dr. Heather Farley.
Additional doctors also will work at the facility, although on a rotating schedule with Christiana Care's primary campuses in Newark and Wilmington.
Nurse, technicians, medical professionals, facility management and security staff also will be employed at the Middletown Emergency Department.
Page 2 of 2 - "All of the staff will be made up of people already working for Christiana Care, so these aren't new jobs that are being created, but the majority of the staff members are transferring here because they already live in the area," Senior Communications Manager William Schmitt said. "But we will be hiring new employees to fill the positions those staff members left."