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Published Oct 15th, 2019

Site development for the new Fanny Meisler Trauma Center is complete, setting the stage for the next phase of construction, says a facilities official at USA Health University Hospital.

“For the next couple of months, we’ll see an ant bed of activity,” said Lawrence Gardner, director of facilities management at University Hospital.

The next phase, under the oversight of general contractor White-Spunner Construction, will take 300 days from start to finish, when workers will set the steel for the structural section and subcontractors will begin work on metal studs and drywall as well as masonry and stucco, he said.

When complete, the expansion will increase space for the Emergency Department from 11,000 to 32,000 square feet. The trauma center is expected to open in late summer of 2020.

“As a result of the expansion, University Hospital will be even better equipped to care for patients with traumatic injuries and respond more effectively to mass casualty situations,” said Jon Simmons, M.D., trauma medical director and chief of trauma and acute care surgery at USA Health.

USA Health and University of South Alabama officials along with Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey broke ground on the trauma center on Dec. 4, 2018. It is named for Fanny Meisler, late wife of local businessman and philanthropist Bert Meisler, who announced a donation of $5 million to USA Health in 2018. The project also received a $4 million economic development grant from the state of Alabama.

Among other highlights:

● Access to the ambulance bay will be confined to emergency vehicles, with the area protected by cross arms.

● The public will have access to the emergency department at the front of the building, which will face the main hospital entrance.

● There will be a total of 18 security cameras inside and outside the building.

● Employee areas will include a break room, 100 lockers and convenient restrooms.

● The waiting room will feature an elevated security station.

● Separate triage rooms will lead to four private curtained examination rooms with recliners in lieu of gurneys. Here, patients will be evaluated by nurse practitioners or resident physicians.

● Treatment areas will be sectioned into suites with 32 exam rooms including infectious disease areas and high-acuity care rooms as well as three expansive trauma bays located adjacent to radiology and CT departments.

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