BLUFFTON, S.C. (WTOC) - If you live in between Hardeeville and Bluffton, the nearest hospital can be anywhere from 7-10 miles away. Now, the Tidewatch Emergency Department is trying to fill that gap.
Dr. Paul Zorch is the leader of the new emergency room, and after five years of preparations, he can’t wait to get started.
“We finally are ready to see patients! We open today, we got our license inspection yesterday, and everything went great, and were ready to go.”
Hilton Head Regional Healthcare opened its Tidewatch Emergency Department with one message for the community.
“This is not an urgent care. This is an emergency room, so we are capable to handle pretty much anything that walks through the door.”
The department has the ability to care for things like chest pain, abdominal pain, broken bones, and even trauma care.
Their two trauma rooms have equipment like X-ray machines and CT scanners, meaning they offer more services than urgent cares can, and they’re able to bring that to an area that was otherwise under-served, due to location.
Clinical Leader, Erica Hartzog, says she wanted to get involved because the building was new and innovative.
“So, this is one of the first ones here in the Lowcountry - the standalone emergency department - and of course I wanted to be a part of that," she said. “This is something big and new, and it’s like any other emergency department, so I still get to use those skills that I’ve become, you know, a bit of an adrenaline junkie for.”
The department is located on Tidewater Drive, just off of the 170 Corridor, and the doctors and staff that work here think that is the reason they will be able to help so many. Dr. Zorch agrees.
“I think we are more accessible where we are now. We are more accessible to where the growth is in Hardeeville and in Bluffton, so I think it’s a great idea.”
The standalone emergency room is expected to be as busy as a normal emergency room, but it will, hopefully, lessen the strain on other emergency rooms at larger hospitals.