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White River Medical Center announces plans for satellite ER in Cherokee Village

By Lisa Burnett

This article was published December 8, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.

CHEROKEE VILLAGE — Residents of the Cherokee Village area will soon be able to get emergency medical help when they need it without having to trek to Batesville.

On Dec. 2, Gary Bebow, CEO and administrator of the White River Health System, announced plans for a satellite emergency room at the White River Medical Center Complex in Cherokee Village.

“The satellite ER is an opportunity for White River Medical Center to continue our 25-year relationship with the citizens of Sharp County by providing high-quality medical care,” Bebow said.

The existing building, which opened in 2007, was built with plans to convert the current Urgent Care Clinic to an emergency room when patient volume grew to a level that would support an ER facility, a WRMC news release states.

When the building is approved by the Arkansas Department of Health and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the White River Health System will move forward with the project, which officials expect to be operational by early 2014, according to the news release.

The new addition will be open and staffed by physicians 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“The citizens of Sharp County will benefit by having access to 24/7 emergency medical care,” Bebow said. “It further enhances the care currently provided by the WRMC Medical Complex, which offers two rural health clinics staffed by three physicians and two advanced-practice nurses.”

Bebow said the project is being funded by the White River Health System, and the ER will only require minor modifications to the existing building. This is something the area needs, Bebow said, because county residents have expressed a desire for 24/7 medical care.

The satellite ER will have one triage room, seven exam rooms and a dedicated ambulance entrance.

Staff writer Lisa Burnett can be reached at (501) 244-4307 or lburnett@arkansasonline.com.

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