AMH Receives $1 Million Grant to Expand Emergency Department

ARLINGTON, Texas – A landmark grant from the Amon G. Carter Foundation anchors Arlington Memorial Hospital's first-ever capital campaign, a five-year, $10 million effort to fund a $23 million expansion of the hospital's Cravens Emergency Department. The gift is the largest in the history of Arlington Memorial Hospital.

Emergency department expansion plans include adding new beds, expanding the triage and urgent care area, adding a separate Fast-Track exam space to help speed treatment for minor ailments. Plans also call for a new outpatient clinic dedicated to treating the unique needs of heart-failure patients.

“Arlington Memorial Hospital's expansion of the Cravens Emergency Department and the addition of the disease-specific outpatient clinics marks a paradigm shift in how we manage and treat our patients,” said Kirk King, FACHE, president of Arlington Memorial Hospital. “We are transforming from a provider of care to a coordinator of care, allowing us to deliver in-depth care to a broader segment of our community.”

“This project goes beyond the bricks and mortar of expanding our ER – it's about improving how patients access health care and changing how we deliver care to our community,” said Hoyt Frenzel, M.D., FACEP, medical director of the Cravens Emergency Department.

“Arlington Memorial Hospital's Emergency Department implemented an innovative process called Physician Screening, which allows physicians in the emergency department to immediately begin treating patients in a special screening area," he said. "This helps us deliver care more quickly and prevents overcrowding in the ER. It allows us to deliver high-quality care more efficiently to the almost 200 patients we see each day. This is one step in our dream to drastically change how we deliver care to our patients in the ER.”

The first outpatient clinic will be focused on heart failure. It will provide preventive care in partnership with local physicians, which will allow patients to receive specialized, in-depth care for heart failure without being admitted to the hospital. The Heart Failure Clinic will have strict entrance and exit criteria and will require a physician's referral.

“At the Heart Failure Clinic, nurses will work in concert with the patient's primary care physician to monitor patients' daily weights, provide nutritional education and make medication adjustments," Frenzel said. "We hope this will help us prevent unnecessary ED visits and hospitalizations and compliment local private physicians' practices,” Frenzel said. “Treatment protocols will be based on current evidence-based medicine from the top cardiac treatment centers in the world.”

The clinic is tentatively slated to open in the first part of 2008.

When Arlington Memorial Hospital's current Emergency Department was built, the number of patient visits numbered approximately 15,000 annually. In a facility originally designed to treat less than 40,000 patients a year, the hospital's ER now treats 67,000 people annually. In the next decade, the number of ER patients is expected to increase by 70 percent, according to a report by Sieck Healthcare Consulting.

“The Amon G. Carter Foundation Board recognizes that Arlington Memorial is the safety net for emergency care between the major medical centers in Fort Worth and Dallas,” said John H. Robinson, Executive Vice President of the Amon G. Carter Foundation. “We also recognize the continued growth in the number of patients seeking service through the Cravens Emergency Department and the need for capital improvements and expansion.”

“The Amon Carter Foundation's generous grant will significantly accelerate our philanthropic efforts. It will allow us to leap-frog by three years the implementation of this vision,” Frenzel added.

The capital campaign is chaired by Tom Cravens and Bohn Allen, M.D., immediate past president of the Texas Medical Association.

“We wish to express our sincere appreciation to the board of the Amon G. Carter Foundation,” said Cravens, campaign co-chair. “Arlington Memorial Hospital is keeping our promise to be the community's hospital. We recently opened the $76 million Tom Vandergriff Surgical Tower and now we're asking our community to help us build a state-of the-art emergency room.”

Nearly 400 people have pledged and given $2.8 million since the campaign began in October of 2006. Other major gifts include:

  • David Moritz – $500,000 challenge grant
  • Martin Sprocket & Gear – $200,000
  • Dr. Allan Saxe – $100,000
  • AMH Auxiliary – $250,000
  • AMH Employees – $300,000
  • Arlington Emergency Medicine Associates – $130,000

Future plans include additional outpatient clinics for patients with hypertension, chronic pain, asthma, coumadin clinic diabetes, and other chronic illnesses that often bring people to the ER, Frenzel said. “This will change the way we deliver care to our community for generations to come. What better gift can we give them than their health, happiness and longevity?” he added.

About Arlington Memorial Hospital
Arlington Memorial Hospital is a 417-bed acute-care, full-service medical center serving Arlington and the surrounding communities since 1958. It includes the new Tom Vandergriff Surgical Tower, a $76 million, five-story, 200,000 square foot facility that added 48 new beds and 16 state-of-the-art surgical suites for inpatient and day surgery. Services include comprehensive cardiac care, an electrophysiology lab, women's and children’s services, orthopedics, GI, an advanced imaging center, extensive rehabilitation services, emergency services, health maintenance and disease prevention classes, support groups and community service programs.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. THR controls 13 affiliated hospitals and a medical research organization, and is a corporate member or partner in seven additional hospitals and surgery centers. THR’s family of hospitals includes Harris Methodist Hospitals, Arlington Memorial Hospital and Presbyterian Healthcare System.  For more information about Texas Health Resources, visit