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Wednesday, 15 July 2009 19:56

New medical office building coming to Harris Regional

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Construction will soon begin on a medical office building on the Harris Regional Hospital campus in Sylva.

The new 45,000-square-foot, three-story building will house physician practices, allowing for growth of the medical community. The building will also house an outpatient laboratory and x-ray to make access easier for patients.

“Currently most of the physician office space on the Harris Regional Hospital campus is occupied, so we’re very excited about the development of this new building which will provide the opportunity for our medical staff to grow and for hospital related functions to expand, so that we can better serve the community” said Mark Leonard, CEO, WestCare Health System.”

As a testimony to the growing medical community, WestCare has recruited 11 new physicians and seven new physician assistants during the past six months.

The medical office building is being built by a private entity who will in turn lease space to doctors.

No capital or foundation money from WestCare is involved. WestCare will ground lease the land to the developer, Colony Development Partners of Charlotte.

Colony Development Partners said there is enough demand in the Jackson County medical community to support the building.

“We’ve pretty much got the building almost 100 percent leased with physicians at the hospital,” said Heath Knott of Colony Development Partners.

Colony Development Partners is a full-service turnkey healthcare development company. Its portfolio includes speculative medical offices, hospital-sponsored medical office buildings, surgery centers and single-practice medical office buildings.

Knott called the planned building a “Class A” medical office building. It will have covered patient drop-off and two gurney-sized elevators.

Adequate data lines and power outlets are particularly important in the building’s design as the health care industry transitions away from paper charts and to electronic medical records.

“WestCare is on the forefront of electronic medical records, which are an integral part of medicine moving forward,” Knott said. “To be able to use the Internet securely and access servers is critical to medical operations today.”

WestCare Health System is in the process of affiliating with Haywood Regional Medical Center and Carolinas HealthCare System, a network of 25 hospitals headquartered in Charlotte.

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