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Groundbreaking for new hospital set for Friday in Franklin

Officials are scheduled to break ground on the new Angel Medical Center this Friday, April 30 at 10 a.m. Due to COVID19, the event is closed to the public. 

The new Angel Medical Center will be located at One Center Court, approximately 1.5 miles from the current facility. The hospital will sit on the corner of the hill, right off the highway in Franklin. With three operating rooms, one endoscopy suite, a 17 bed emergency department and a 30 bed capacity inpatient unity with five acuity adaptable beds, 20 medical surgical beds, and five observation beds, the new facility design is approximately 82,500 square foot. 

In the fall of 2019, representatives from Angel Medical Center and HCA spoke to the Franklin Town Council regarding plans for the new Angel Medical Center location on 441 across from the new Bojangles at the intersection of 441 and Hunnicut Lane in Franklin. In September 2019, AMC officials reported that the new facility would not exceed the 30-bed capacity of the current Angel Medical Center, rooms will be larger and equipment will be upgraded and expanded services and structural and safety requirements will be met when the new building is ready in the third quarter of 2022. 

Construction is estimated to take two years on the $68 million facility.

Detailing facts about the new facility, HCA, the parent company of Angel Medical Center reported that there will be more than 294 miles of electrical wire installed in the new building, which is approximately the distance from Franklin, NC, to Nashville, TN and that the power required for the new building could run 200 homes. Electricity will travel around the building at more than 670,616,629 miles per hour. The conduit system in the building could hold enough water to fill 41 kids’ pools, around 6,611 gallons.

There will be 50,000 lbs. of copper installed within the new hospital. The new facility will have 479 tons of structural steel. The new hospital will have 59,000sqft of vinyl flooring which equates to roughly 1.35 acres of flooring. The new Angel Medical Center will have of 65,000 linear feet of pipe, that’s higher than the hot air balloon altitude record set in 1988. The total weight of all the sheet metal duct work will be just under 60 tons.

As mentioned in September 2019, the new hospital will still be a critical access hospital and will have 30 rooms, 25 for inpatient care and 5 for observation care.    

Both the current AMC facility and the new facility are considered to be critical access hospitals. Critical Access Hospital is a designation given to eligible rural hospitals by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Congress created the Critical Access Hospital (CAH) designation through the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (Public Law 105-33) in response to a string of rural hospital closures during the 1980s and early 1990s. The CAH designation is designed to reduce the financial vulnerability of rural hospitals and improve access to healthcare by keeping essential services in rural communities. To accomplish this goal, CAHs receive certain benefits, such as cost-based reimbursement for Medicare services.

Although the new facility does not mean the return of labor and delivery for Macon County residents, HCA has partnered with Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) for a women’s health care center in Franklin. MAHEC opened its new office in the 56 Building on January 6th.  Suzanne Dixon, MD, OB-GYN will be providing prenatal, postnatal, and GYN care.

The new facility will also have an all-weather helicopter pad to serve a new helicopter from Mission. Mission Health’s Mountain Area Medical Airlift (MAMA)’s new helicopter is an upgrade from an Airbus EC135 to an Airbus EC145. The EC145 has more interior space giving nurses and paramedics better access to patients. It also carries more fuel increasing MAMA’s range, more powerful engines for a higher payload capacity, and more sophisticated instruments.

Since 1986, Mission Health’s MAMA helicopter has transported critically injured or ill patients. MAMA stands for Mountain Area Medical Airlift.

The new helicopter is larger than the previous helicopter used as MAMA and that means it has more room for the patient and the crew, according to John Grindstaff, supervisor for Mission’s air medical services.

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