Construction begins at hospital

Published 9:49 am Thursday, January 28, 2016

By Les Gura

Wake Forest Baptist


The New Year is well under way and the same can be said with construction of the 50-bed hospital at Wake Forest Baptist Health – Davie Medical Center’s Bermuda Run campus.

Since last month’s groundbreaking, crews have been grading the site and excavating for what will be the elevator pit. They have installed some of the footings and underground utilities.

“Construction is progressing right on schedule,” said Chad Brown, president of Davie Medical Center.

The ceremonial groundbreaking took place Dec. 2 for the $47 million addition, a project that will relocate inpatient beds from Mocksville and feature specialty geriatric and joint replacement programs.

The event kicked off the second phase of a development project that began in 2008. The $89 million first phase of the project encompassed a new emergency department and specialty clinics that include cardiac rehabilitation, physical therapy and ophthalmology. The emergency department and medical offices opened on the 88-acre campus in October 2013. The bed tower is expected to open in spring 2017.

“We’re pleased to not just meet the health care needs of this growing county but to create within the boundaries of this facility an academic medical center in Davie County,’’ said John D. McConnell, M.D., CEO, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. “This county is an example of what can be done with commitment, focus and investment, because it takes all three things.’’

“This is a dream come true,’’ said Terry Bralley, president of Davie County Economic Development and a leader in the county’s longtime effort to save its hospital. “Wake Forest Baptist just delivered in a huge way. All of us had a vision, and we chose the partner we thought would be the best fit for us. We started out trying to save the hospital in Mocksville and look at this—wow.’’

The focus on geriatric and joint replacement programs is an intentional effort to meet a growing need in Davie County and beyond. The Acute Care for the Elderly, or ACE unit, will be a model for older adults, going beyond specific diseases and centering on total patient care, said Brown.

“It will include a team of geriatricians, nurses and case workers specifically trained for the 60 and over population, all within the confines of our patient- and family-centered care model,’’ he said.

The total joint replacement program, meanwhile, targets older adults and the population by bringing the expertise of orthopaedic surgeons to Davie Medical Center for the latest knee, shoulder and other orthopaedic procedures. The Bermuda Run campus already is home to an extensive post-treatment rehabilitation center.

Stephen Robertson, chairman of Wake Forest Baptist’s board of directors, is an Advance resident. He recalled when county residents turned out at public hearings wearing t-shirts in support of keeping their community hospital.

“I take a lot of pride and joy in the coming together of this project,’’ Robertson said. “This will be another major jewel that Wake Forest Baptist will have, and it will be residing here in Davie County.’’