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Construction moving forward at new Franklin hospital

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Lilly Knoepp
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The construction at the new Angel Medical Center is expected to be finished in late June 2022.

The new Angel Medical Center in Franklin is starting to take shape.  BPR took a tour of the construction site. 

David Sibilio is the superintendent of the project.  

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Credit Lilly Knoepp
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David Sibilio from JE Dunn Construction showing the second floor of the new hospital.

“This right here is our biggest OR for you guys to see,” said Sibilio.  

Bigger rooms – both for operations and for care – are one of the highlights that Angel’s CEO Clint Kendall wants the community to see.

“Normal rooms, you have more than enough room right now. It’s about the size of a two bedroom room at the current hospital,” said Kendall.

Kendall, who began his job last summer, says despite some community skepticism the hospital will provide all of the current services. But there are no current plans to resume labor and delivery services - which were discontinued at Angel Medical Center back in 2017

“Is it the same, yes, only better. Is it smaller yes, only in square footage. We’re going from around 180,000 down to 80,000,” said Kendall.

Kendall says this is because extra space at the former location was for needs outside of patient care. The new hospital will have a 30-bed capacity inpatient unit with five acuity adaptable beds, 20 medical surgical beds, and five observation beds plus a 17-bed emergency department.

It will also have three operating rooms (two will be fully outfitted and one will be available for expansion) and an endoscopy suite. The operating rooms are twice as big as the previous rooms, says Kendall. The hospital is also purchasing new technology such as new MRI and CAT scan machines plus new radiology equipment. Kendall says radiology department is one of the biggest areas of improvement including stereotactic mammography.  

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Credit Lilly Knoepp
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This area will be an operating room after construction is completed.

Lori Smith is regional manager of the radiology department and has been at Mission for 31 years. She serves Angel and Highlands-Cashiers Hospital.  

She says there will be additional imaging and mammography. 

“There are certain pieces of equipment that has come out since we got those machines that are now going to be there for the future. It’s a tremendous benefit for this community,” said Smith.  

Behavioral health has been a priority for the region. Mission is currently constructing a new behavioral health facility in Asheville. Kendall says Angel will have a close relationship with the facility as well as behavioral healthcare.

“We have a mixed behavioral health area where we can put regular patients and behavioral health patients to keep them a little safer,” said Kendall.   

Mission Hospital in Asheville will be moving all its behavioral health patients to the new Sweeten Creek facility.  That means that there will be 38 more beds available for behavioral health care in Mission Health System’s 18-county region.

The new Angel Medical Center will cost $68 million dollars - $25 million higher than the original estimate.  The hospital was part of HCA’s purchase agreement when the for-profit health system purchased Mission Health System in February 2019. There is still no word on what will happen with the old hospital building.

Sibilio says this is the first hospital he has worked on.

“I love it. It’s complicated. It’s challenging and it’s rewarding,” he said.

The hospital is expected to be completed in late June. Then after the certification process, the new hospital is scheduled to open in September.

The construction company, JE Dunn Construction, is also assisting the town of Franklin in the construction of a skatepark to also be finished at the same time as the hospital. 

Here’s the full list of services that will be offered at the new Angel Medical Center Hospital:

Acute Care

Intensive Care Medical/Surgical

General Medical Surgical

Swing Beds

Inpatient Hospice

Emergency Department

Pathology and Medical Lab

Blood Bank/Transfusion Services

Histopathology Lab

Telehealth/Telemedicine

Imaging

Psychiatric

Stroke

Surgical

GI Endoscopy

Cystoscopy

Pain management

Cardioversions

General

Gynecological

Ophthalmology

Orthopedics

Urology

Imaging

CT

MRI

X-Ray

Ultrasound

Mammography

Lilly Knoepp serves as BPR’s first fulltime reporter covering Western North Carolina. She is a native of Franklin, NC who returns to WNC after serving as the assistant editor of Women@Forbes and digital producer of the Forbes podcast network. She holds a master’s degree in international journalism from the City University of New York and earned a double major from UNC-Chapel Hill in religious studies and political science.
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