With excitement and anticipation, Arkansas Heart Hospital is less than a year away from opening Encore Medical Center, bringing expert care in services such as bariatric surgery and vein and vascular treatments to more patients.
“It looks like we’ll have occupancy turned over to us in late October 2020,” said Dr. Bruce Murphy, Chief Executive Officer at Arkansas Heart Hospital. “We have selected all of the key leadership positions for the hospital, from a management perspective. We have secured some really outstanding physicians and are fervently recruiting both cardiologists and other sub-specialists, including bariatric surgery, general surgery and hospitalists.”
Encore will be a general acute hospital, but the main focus will be the bariatric surgery and peripheral vascular disease programs. “We’ve been so successful in both of those programs that we have congested the Heart Hospital main campus. It is that congestion that has resulted in those two service lines being moved in their entirety to Encore,” Murphy said. Along with a full service emergency department, Encore will also have cardiologists and interventionalists at the ready for heart patients.
“Since we are only 11 miles away, we are going to keep our focus on cardiovascular surgery at the main hospital. If we identify patients at Encore that need heart surgery, they would come to the main campus. Whereas if a patient needed a balloon, stent or a stabilization process, they would probably then spend their entire hospitalization at the new hospital.“
Murphy says they look forward to working alongside neighboring hospitals. “It is our hope and desire that Saline Memorial Hospital will continue to be successful taking care of general acute and other major product lines that we don’t have a specialty in.”
Our AHH Saline County Clinic, currently located at the future Encore site, will also receive an upgrade by moving into a soon-to-be-constructed medical office building. “There will be space to take care of our bariatric surgery population, our peripheral vascular population with vein and vascular, our intensive cardiac rehab center and a longevity program that we are going to start there.”
AHH broke ground at the Encore site in November 2018. Within the first four months of construction, crews experienced about 65 rain days. They have worked tirelessly to catch up.
“2020 sounds like it’s almost here and October is going to be here really soon,” Murphy added. “It’s certainly exciting to see this hospital taking shape. It has truly changed the skyline of Bryant.”
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