Source: Vegas Seven

These days, if you need to get to an emergency room, chances are you’re going to do a quick search on your phone to find the nearest one as you hop in the car. In most of the Valley, you’ll usually find something relatively close—unless you live in North Las Vegas.

For years, North Las Vegans have had just one full-service hospital, North Vista Hospital on East Lake Mead Boulevard. With medical emergencies, a 25-minute drive time—say from Aliante Casino to that hospital—could be fatal.

There’s good news for North Las Vegans, as well as a few other underserved parts of the Valley. Dignity Health, which runs the three St. Rose hospitals located in Henderson and southwest Las Vegas, is scheduled to break ground on the first of four new neighborhood hospitals on March 2 in North Las Vegas.

“We toyed with the idea of building a larger hospital, but we rather like the smaller facility. It’s more like a small rural community hospital.” – Brian Brannman

The company selected each location based on an assessment of areas in the Valley that are underserved, according to Brian Brannman, senior vice president of operations who oversees Dignity Health Nevada.

“[North Las Vegas is] an area that’s pretty far removed from existing services,” says Brannman, who also serves as president and CEO of the Dignity Health St. Rose Dominican’s Siena campus.

The announcement comes at an opportune time. Electric car manufacturer Faraday Future announced in December that it was setting up shop in North Las Vegas. It has started building its reported $1 billion factory at Apex Industrial Park, off Interstate 15 in the northernmost part of the city.

Dignity Health’s north campus, 1550 W. Craig Road, is slated to open in late spring 2017, with three more neighborhood hospitals opening every couple of months through the end of 2017. The other hospital locations are 9892 W. Flamingo Road and 4855 Blue Diamond Road, with a West Sahara Avenue location still being finalized.

“We toyed with the idea of building a larger hospital, but we rather like the smaller facility. It’s more like a small rural community hospital,” Brannman says. “Health care is becoming less reliant on big hospitals.”

The new St. Rose-branded campuses will each cost an estimated $24-$28 million to construct. The 24/7 facilities will include an eight-bay emergency department, imaging and lab services and an eight-bed inpatient wing. They will each have about 100 employees, including doctors, nurses and laboratory technicians. In addition, each hospital will have a Dignity Health Medical Group primary care clinic.

The new hospitals will be run in partnership with Emerus, a Texas-based health care company that runs medical facilities around the country. Brannman says the emphasis in the neighborhood hospitals will be efficiency. There will be no long-term services or reproductive health services offered at the smaller facilities.

Nevada as a whole has earned failing grades in health care, including the number of doctors per capita and emergency care. Nevada ranks 47th in the nation in physicians per 100,000 residents and 49th in the nation in primary care physicians per 100,000 people, according to the Nevada Legislative Counsel Bureau. Nevada also earned a D+ on the most recent American College of Emergency Physicians state report card.

“We’ve got some real access issues here in Southern Nevada,” Brannman says. “The idea is to make it convenient and get patients in and out and back home.”