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Bamberg-Barnwell Emergency Medical Center

The Bamberg-Barnwell Emergency Medical Center will open April 8.

The ribbon cutting and reception for the Regional Medical Center's Bamberg-Barnwell Emergency Medical Center is scheduled for April 1.

The event is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. The facility will officially open at 7 a.m. Monday, April 8. The center is located at 1524 Barnwell Highway (Highway 70 between Denmark and Barnwell).

RMC President and Chief Executive Officer Charles Williams will host a pre-tour with the legislative delegation, state officials and a few members of the media prior to the 11 a.m. April 1 event.

The $8.6 million, 20,500-square-foot emergency department will offer emergency care including CT scanning, X-ray and ultrasound diagnostic imaging and lab and observation services.

The facility is located on 10 acres of land.

The emergency center will have all the amenities needed for a standard emergency department, including nine observation rooms, and will be equipped to handle ambulance and walk-in traffic.

Three observation beds will be available to take care of patients overnight. Incoming patients will access not just emergency care, but diagnostic services and outpatient lab and X-ray services.

The facility is expected to have five doctors and is projected to employ approximately 50.

The emergency center will also use RMC's current affiliation with the Medical University of South Carolina to provide tele-medicine services at its facility.

Hospital officials remain bullish on the emergency center despite some concerns conservative projected volumes would not initially make the center profitable. The center is projected to see about 6,000 patients in 2019 though hospital officials say these volumes are on the projected low-end.

Columbia-based GMK Associates Inc. is the company which handled the architectural design and construction of the facility.

The project was funded by the state through a one-time, $3.6 million Transformation Fund Grant and additional funds resulting from the region’s designation as a persistent poverty area. Other funding has been committed by local community stakeholders.

Bamberg County has been without an emergency room since 2012, when the county hospital was closed. Southern Palmetto Hospital, formerly Barnwell County Hospital, announced its closure in January 2016.

RMC opened an urgent care center in Bamberg in 2013. That facility will close once the new emergency department is up and running.

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Staff Writer

Gene Zaleski is a reporter/staff writer with The Times and Democrat.

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