This architectural rendering shows the concept for the freestanding emergency department to be built in Arlington. Image by Lindsay Campbell.

Ruling lays groundwork for Arlington emergency department

This architectural rendering shows the concept for the freestanding emergency department to be built in Arlington. Image by Lindsay Campbell.

Arlington has the green light to get a freestanding emergency department now, thanks to a judicial ruling.

On March 19, Administrative Judge Stephen Darnell of the Administrative Hearings Division, Office of the Secretary of State, granted Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis the Certificate of Need application.

The freestanding emergency department, which will be developed with Regional One Health, will be at the southeast corner of Interstate 40 and Airline Road in Arlington. Baptist originally submitted the application on May 15, 2017, to the Health Services and Development Agency.

Jason Little, president and CEO of Baptist Memorial Health Care, said he was thrilled at the decision. “This freestanding ED will make emergency care more easily accessible to residents of four counties Fayette, Haywood, Shelby and Tipton which will result in an unprecedented extension of quality health care for these communities.”

The facility will have eight rooms, a CT scan, X-ray, ultrasound imaging and a helipad. Baptist estimates construction will cost $10 million, contributing more than 30 high-wage professional positions to the community.

The freestanding ED will be readily accessible from I-40 and will serve as a satellite department of Baptist Memphis. Many of Baptist Memphis’ ED patients travel from as far away as Haywood County, which does not have a hospital. Haywood Park Community Hospital closed in 2018, and Methodist Fayette Hospital closed in 2015.

Haywood County has a population of more than 17,000, Fayette County has a population of 40,000, and the city of Arlington, one of the fastest growing communities in Shelby County, has a population of more than 11,000.

“We believe Arlington is the best location for Baptist’s freestanding emergency department because of current ED use patterns, community growth and accessibility to rural and surrounding areas,” Little said. “Thanks to the outstanding support of Arlington Mayor Mike Wissman and the Arlington Board of Aldermen, we have been able to establish a plan for appropriate and sustainable health care that will grow with the needs of the community.”

This was Baptist’s fourth CON application for a freestanding ED in Shelby County. The first application was for a location near the Hickory Hill area on Kirby Parkway. The second was near U.S. 64 and Canada Road in Lakeland, and the third was submitted for a 10-room treatment ED at the same location as the fourth CON application in Arlington (the one just granted). Baptist submitted the fourth CON application after HSDA published criteria for the development of freestanding EDs in the state of Tennessee.

For more information about Baptist Memorial Health Care, visit baptistonline.org or follow the organization on Facebook or Twitter.