STALLINGS – The 10-year vision of a hospital and medical facility in western Union County was brought to life Jan. 23 as Atrium Health officials broke ground on the site of the future Atrium Health Union West hospital.
The hospital, located at 1500 Stallings Road, is expected to be completed by the end of 2021 and open in early 2022. Officials say the project will be completed on time and under budget.
When Eugene Woods stepped into his role as president and CEO of Atrium Health, he met Donnie Baucom, who serves on the Atrium Health Board of Commissioners. Baucom gave him a tour of Union County and expressed the need for a hospital and more expanded medical services.
Woods said in the eight years Atrium Health has served Union County, it has invested $179 million in the community, providing jobs and economic growth while expanding access to quality health care.
The 150,000-square-foot hospital will have 40 acute care beds, 10 emergency department bays, two operating rooms, one endoscopy suite, one C-section operating room, imaging services, lab services and pharmacy services. Additionally, the site will include a 40,000-square-foot medical office building with physician practices.
“This will be the largest development project in Union County’s history,” Woods said. “It shows that we are committed. We believe in this community and what we can be together moving forward.”
Atrium Health began a strategic plan for the hospital between 2007 and 2008, according to Michael Lutes, market president. Lutes said as the county continues to grow, so does its need for a hospital in closer proximity to its residents. Stallings was chosen because it provides access to a rapidly growing part of the county.
“Western Union County has grown so much and unfortunately, with that, it means there’s not really a hospital close by,” Lutes said. “So, bringing these specialty services and having a hospital locally will prevent people from having to travel into Charlotte or back into Monroe.”
Though Novant Hospital in Matthews is located about 3.5 miles from Atrium’s new location, Lutes believes Atrium Health will be able to differentiate itself and serve nearby communities.
“With the growing population, there’s a need for another hospital in the community,” Lutes said. “We’re going to continue to grow our services, particularly around women’s services and cardiology and really have specialized services that will attract patients to Atrium Health Union West.”
Dr. Natasha Adams-Denny, who serves as an OB/GYN at Atrium Health Union in Monroe, said she thinks her patients who live in Stallings and Indian Trail will be happy to soon have medical services closer to them.
In his speech to guests at the groundbreaking ceremony, Woods thanked Stallings Town Council, the Union County Board of Commissioners and state elected officials for their support of the project. He also expressed his intent to partner with local organizations.
“It’s not just about the care that we provide inside of our walls,” Woods said. “80% of any of our health is what happens outside of our walls, so we look to partner with other community organizations so that we keep people healthy, not just when they’re inside, but also when they’re traveling throughout their day-to-day lives.”
Woods reflected on the last 100 years, when the first hospital opened in Union County. He said when Alto Mahoney ran Ellen Fitzgerald Hospital, it was common knowledge that anyone, no matter what they looked like or where they were from, would be taken care of.
Woods hopes to continue that mission in Union County as Atrium Health Union West opens.
“I think that Dr. Mahoney would be beaming with pride at this moment that a century later, we’re continuing the vision of caring for all,” Woods said. “Let’s launch a new beginning here and let it be that people 100 years from now are reflecting back on this moment on the care that we brought to countless lives.”