PACE — Santa Rosa Medical Center broke ground Aug. 7 on their free-standing emergency department located at the corner of Highway 90 and Woodbine Road in Pace.

"There are walk-in clinics. There are urgent care centers and there are emergency rooms," SRMC CEO Doug Sills said at the groundbreaking ceremony. "This emergency room will be fully capable of taking care of any emergency just like any emergency room associated with a hospital."

Magen Norwood, SRMC marketing coordinator, said the new emergency room will be a full-service emergency department equipped with radiology, laboratory and other emergency service lines, the only one of its kind Santa Rosa County.

"I am glad Santa Rosa Medical Center decided to make the significant financial investment in the Pace area to provide this emergency department which I feel will elevate the quality of care that our residents will be able to receive right here in Santa Rosa County," Santa Rosa County Commissioner Sam Parker said.

The 10,750-square-foot facility will have ten patient rooms, a trauma room, an isolation room, a decontamination room, an ambulance bay and when complete will be licensed by the Agency for Health Care Administration, Norwood said.

According to Norwood, the facility will have backups for power, utilities and operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

"It will be staffed accordingly," Norwood said,

She said SRMC has not started hiring yet, but those interested should monitor the SRMC website at www.srmcfl.com and follow the application process.

SRMC's corporate office made the decision to build and locate the facility in Pace after market analysis showed the newly renovated emergency room at their hospital location was continually full.

"We are just meeting the need for our community," Norwood said.

"We stand by providing our community with immediate and easily-accessible healthcare," a SRMC press release said.

SMRC contracted with M. J. Harris for construction of the project. According to Norwood, the anticipated completion date is April of 2019.