Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Dallas officials mark Sept. 11 anniversary by breaking ground on new trauma ... - Dallas Morning News (blog)

An artist's rendering of the new $108 million trauma center, to be completed by summer 2014

Staff writer Julie Fancher reports:

City officials marked the anniversary of Sept. 11 this morning by breaking ground on a trauma center that could help Dallas better prepare for such a disaster.

The six-story, $108 million Charles A. Sammons Trauma and Critical Care Tower at Methodist Dallas Medical Center will expand the hospital’s emergency department.

“I think 9/11 is a day of reminder of the importance of first responders, the community of citizens, caregivers, volunteers, all coming together in critical times of need,” hospital president Laura Irvine said.

The trauma facility will include 58 beds, six trauma suites, eight surgical suites and a 36-bed critical care unit â€" all designed to improve care for the more than 60,000 patients who visit the ER each year.

A ceremony at the hospital, attended by Mayor Mike Rawlings, Dallas Fire-Rescue Chief Louie Bright III and Dallas Police Chief David Brown, began with an invocation remembering the victims of the terrorist attacks, many rescue personnel among them.

“We are humbled and grateful to the first responders who keep us safe,” Rawlings said.

Methodist is designated as a Level II trauma center. Its current emergency department was last renovated in 1999, and the new tower is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2014.

“There are only three trauma facilities in Dallas, and Methodist is one of them,” said BrightER Campaign Chair Chris Kleinert. “So it is incredibly important that Methodist continues to serve the people of Dallas.”

Kleinert announced that the campaign has raised more than $9 million in donations, nearly half the $20 million goal.

“Our theme for this historic campaign is BrightER-saving lives and serving Dallas. A very fitting charge to us all,” Kleinert said. “First responders, physicians, caregivers, community leaders, each one of you here today makes Dallas brighter.

“Each one of you can make a difference.”

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