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Designing Emergency Care for South Coastal: A Q&A with Kevin Bristowe, M.D.

There’s more to building a new emergency department, like the one planned for Route 17 near Millville, than just putting shovels in the ground. Much more.

Kevin Bristowe, MD, Medical Director of Emergency Services at Beebe, and his team have participated in numerous design meetings with architects and engineers to talk about how people will access the building, how they will move through once inside, and what steps must be taken before even one shovel hits the dirt.

“We are designing the new free-standing emergency department with the community in mind,” said Dr. Bristowe. “This is the first free-standing emergency room for Beebe, so we want to make sure we are doing everything we can to make it successful and that starts with the design process.”

While there are still many unanswered questions, Beebe is working through the process with local and state governing bodies. Beebe and its integrated design team meet with team members in a design studio at the Lewes campus. It is in this studio that they work together to hammer out specific needs of the community and how those needs will be addressed in the new space.

“We will be providing resources in an underserved area, so the planning piece is very important,” Dr. Bristowe said. “We are continuing to work to understand how many providers will be needed, but we do plan on hiring providers for the new location.”

In addition, Beebe is working with local emergency response teams to understand how ambulances will be routed once the new center is opened. It is expected that the paramedics and other emergency responders will work with Beebe to fully understand criteria for those patients who will be taken to the new South Coastal emergency department and those who need to be taken to the Level III trauma center in Lewes.

The South Coastal campus will feature a helipad, so patients who may need to be transported quickly either to Lewes or to a higher-level trauma center can do so quickly and easily from Millville.

“The free-standing emergency department will feature the full range of emergency testing, labs, X-ray, ultrasound, and CT scan capabilities,” Dr. Bristowe said. “We can meet immediate needs, but some patients will require transfer to the hospital for additional care and treatment.”

Patients requiring to be admitted to the hospital will continue to go to Lewes as the South Coastal location will not have rooms for overnight stays.

“We are excited for the future of emergency services in the Millville area,” Dr. Bristowe said. “The area is growing quickly and we want to provide quality care close to the areas where people live.”

Find out more about Beebe’s exciting expansion plans on our FACTS page: