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Texas Health Fort Worth Announces Grand Opening of Marion Emergency Care Center

FORT WORTH, Texas — The Marion Emergency Care Center at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth will officially open its doors to patients, staff, physicians and visitors the morning of January 11.

The new center nearly triples the square footage of Texas Health Fort Worth’s existing emergency department.
The new center nearly triples the square footage of Texas Health Fort Worth’s existing emergency department.
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Texas Health Fort Worth, one of the city’s two major adult trauma centers, began construction on the $57.7 million facility in June 2012 to better meet the growing needs of Fort Worth, which was recently ranked sixth on a Forbes list of fastest-growing U.S. cities.

Trauma centers care for people critically injured in car accidents or falls, or with gunshot wounds, stab wounds, assault injuries or minor burns. They’re designated by the Texas Department of State Health Services from Level I (comprehensive) to Level IV (basic). Texas Health Fort Worth is a Level II trauma center, meaning the community relies on its dedicated 24-hour in-house team with on-call trauma surgeons, neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons to deliver care to the critically injured. Level I programs provide the same level of care as Level II, but also include research and residency programs.

“This advanced facility will enhance our delivery of efficient, quality emergency care and service to our rising population — something we take great pride in,” said Lillie Biggins, president of Texas Health Fort Worth. “We’re excited to open our doors and show the community what we’ve designed for them.”

The three-story, 75,000-square-foot emergency care center nearly triples the square footage of Texas Health Fort Worth’s existing emergency department and increases patient beds from 56 to 100.

In both 2012 and 2013, the hospital’s emergency department cared for over 100,000 patients per year. Having accreditation as a Level II Trauma Center, Primary Stroke Center, Cycle III Chest Pain Center, Emergency Center of Excellence, and holding a Gold Seal of Approval from the Joint Commission in the treatment of hip fractures makes the hospital an exceptional destination for emergency care, hospital leaders say.

“Our new emergency care center is a culmination of years of soliciting input from multiple city- and county-wide organizations in order to best create a facility that responds to the needs of our community,” said Dr. John Geesbreght, the hospital’s medical director of emergency services. “I believe we’ve done just that.”

Efficient, Quality Care

The ground floor of the 100-bed emergency care center is divided into a 26-bed quick care area, 42-bed diagnostic area, 22-bed emergent care area and a 10-bed super track area. The super track system, staffed by a physician and nurse, is intended for patients with minor ailments — strains and sprains, sore throats, colds — to be treated and sent home within 60 minutes.

“We value our patients’ time, so we want to get them treated and on the road to recovery quickly,” said Christy Daae, nurse manager in the emergency department. “This super track area will help allow us to do that.”

The new space also includes a designated area for care of sexual assault victims. Texas Health Fort Worth began a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program last year that includes eight registered nurses specially-trained in medical forensic care on-call 24 hours daily.

“We established the SANE program to offer the full gamut of services to our patients and eliminate the need to transport these victims to another facility,” said Judy Horton, director of the emergency department. “Equipping ourselves to treat them here is the right thing to do.”

Beyond Emergency Services

A new clinic designed for senior citizens sits on the facility’s first floor. The Senior Health & Wellness Center, staffed by two nurse practitioners and a geriatrician, will help care for senior patients who require quick follow-up care after an emergency room visit, such as additional lab work or X-rays. The goal is to provide a continuum of care for geriatric patients and reduce unnecessary hospital admissions. It will focus on treatment, diagnosis, and education on managing chronic conditions for patients and their families.

“The clinic was created specifically with the senior population in mind, so chairs are higher and we have things like roll-on scales for those in wheelchairs,” said Denise Doneghy, R.N., nurse supervisor of the new clinic. “It’s family-oriented. We offer two consult rooms in which patients and their children can talk with a physician or nurse about managing chronic conditions.”

Down the hall from the clinic, a sophisticated simulation laboratory will offer unique educational opportunities for first responders in the Fort Worth area. The Amon G. Carter Medical Training Simulation Center includes four care environments: the back of an ambulance, an operating room, a resuscitation room, and an intensive care unit room. This will allow caregivers from all areas of emergency services — including paramedics, nurses, physicians, medical students, residents — to practice working with one another in emergency situations. Advanced mannequin “patients” that talk, bleed, sweat, and make lung and heart noises will lead caregivers through different treatment scenarios. Sessions are videotaped so caregivers can debrief afterward and identify opportunities for improvement.

“The mannequins respond physiologically to treatment, and you can perform procedures on them, which makes the scenarios feel more realistic,” said Debbie Krauser, director of integration and education for the Fort Worth Emergency Services Collaboration. “The experience teaches caregivers from across all disciplines to work well with one another in high-stress situations and helps sharpen skills across the board.”

For more information on the new emergency care center, visit

About Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth
Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth is 726-bed, Magnet-designated regional referral center that has served the residents of Tarrant County since 1930. The hospital’s services include cardiovascular services, high-risk and routine obstetrics and gynecology, orthopedics and sports medicine, neonatal intensive care, and trauma/emergency medicine. Texas Health Fort Worth is also home to the 100-bed Texas Health Harris Methodist Heart Center. An affiliate of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system, Texas Health Fort Worth has more than 4,000 employees, 200 volunteers and nearly 1,000 physicians practicing on the medical staff. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health systems in the United States. The health system includes 24 acute care and short-stay hospitals that are owned, operated, joint-ventured or affiliated with Texas Health Resources. It includes the Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Arlington Memorial and Texas Health Harris Methodist hospitals, a large physician group, outpatient facilities, and home health, preventive and fitness services, and an organization for medical research and education.

For more information about Texas Health Resources, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit

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