FERNLEY - Initial steps were taken Wednesday to provide Fernley, one of the fastest growing cities in Nevada, with its first hospital.
Jim Miller, president and CEO of Washoe Medical Center, lauded the new Fernley Family Care facility as "a milestone occasion for Fernley" during the ceremonial ground breaking.
"One of our commitments is to grow with the communities we serve," Miller said.
The $4.5 million, 7,500-square-foot building will provide family and urgent care, a clinical lab and imaging services.
Completion is scheduled for May, when Washoe Medical Center will move to 1320 West Newlands Drive from its current 4,000-square-foot building across the street.
This construction is part of the third phase of expansion of Scolari's shopping center, which will add approximately 20 retail store fronts and 42,000 square feet of commercial space. Grading of the site is already underway.
The expansion will enhance the laboratory and medical imaging services in Lyon County, said Walter Davis, vice president of physician services for Washoe Medical Center.
"We recognize this is an opportunity to bring a broader perspective of health care services to Fernley," Davis said.
Urgent care hours will be expanded from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Saturdays.
A specialist such as an obstetrician or gynecologist may also visit on an as-needed basis, Davis said.
The medical center will partner with Banner Health, which operates a medical center in Fernley and a hospital in Fallon, but the specifics have yet to be worked out, he said.
Fernley Mayor David Stix Jr. said the center's expanded size and hours will save time for some Fernley residents who would otherwise drive to Reno for general practice or urgent-care incidents.
"The one constant that I have witnessed in over eight years of elected service to the people of Fernley is that better health care and more retail business is at the top of everyone's list of what they expect from the fastest growing city in the state," he said.
n Josh Johnson can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.