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$15M freestanding emergency room opens in north Manatee

HCA Florida Palmetto Emergency opened July 1.
HCA Florida Palmetto Emergency opened July 1.
Photo by Rick Benitez
  • Manatee-Sarasota
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A new freestanding emergency room is now open in Palmetto. HCA Florida Palmetto Emergency officially opened its doors to the public July 1.

The 10,800-square-foot facility will deliver the same services as the emergency room at HCA Florida Blake Hospital, its affiliate about 7.5 miles away in Bradenton.

A board-certified emergency physician will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at HCA Florida Palmetto Emergency, which has 10 exam rooms and a trauma bay. It is also equipped with X-ray, CT scan, ultrasound, laboratory and pharmacy services on-site.

In its first year, officials project HCA Florida Palmetto Emergency will serve 7,200 patients. The facility is expected to serve Palmetto, Ellenton, Parrish and the surrounding communities.

"We are thrilled to bring much-needed emergency services to the north river area,” CEO of HCA Florida Blake ­­Hospital Steve Young says in a statement. “This facility represents our commitment to meeting the growing healthcare needs of our community with accessible, high-quality care. Our goal is to ensure that residents have convenient access to emergency medical services close to home.”

The freestanding emergency room has 10 exam rooms and a trauma bay.
Courtesy image

Situations that require an emergency room include suspected heart attack or stroke; broken bones; deep wounds with uncontrolled bleeding; trouble breathing; severe burns; suspected poisoning or overdose; uncontrolled nausea, diarrhea or dehydration; high fever; and severe allergic reaction, according to HCA Florida Healthcare.

The opening of HCA Florida Palmetto Emergency is part of a growing trend by health care institutions to meet the needs of certain communities without building a full-scale hospital. In May, HCA Florida Englewood Hospital broke ground on a freestanding ER project in North Port, which is expected to open in spring 2025 in the Wellen Park area to serve south Sarasota County. And in recent years, the number of freestanding emergency departments has increased dramatically. In 2001, about 1% of emergency departments were freestanding emergency rooms, while in 2016, they accounted for 11% of emergency departments, according to the National Emergency Department Inventory. 

To create the freestanding emergency room in Palmetto, HCA Florida Blake Hospital spent more than $15 million, according to a statement, which says that is not the only way the new facility is affecting the local economy — it is also creating jobs. HCA Florida Palmetto Emergency will have 26 full-time employees, including nurses, paramedics, laboratory technicians, pharmacy technicians, housekeeping staff, security guards and radiology technicians. The estimated salary and benefits are expected to have an economic impact of more than $3 million, according to a statement.

HCA Florida Palmetto Emergency is at 902 10th Street East in Palmetto.



Elizabeth King

Elizabeth is a business news reporter with the Business Observer, covering primarily Sarasota-Bradenton, in addition to other parts of the region. A graduate of Johns Hopkins University, she previously covered hyperlocal news in Maryland for Patch for 12 years. Now she lives in Sarasota County.

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