A Success Story – Emergency Services Capital Campaign

Built in 1998, our emergency department in Smithfield was designed to accommodate 34,000 patient visits per year. However, our volume has grown faster than anyone expected. Last year, we had more than 47,000 visits. This campaign was crucial to the growth, development and sustainability of our health care facilities within Johnston County.

Our emergency department staff has especially felt the pinch since the state began closing mental health beds. As a result, more patients with behavioral health issues are turning to our hospital’s emergency department for care. When our 20-bed behavioral health unit was full, our patients had to wait in the emergency department until beds became available in the behavioral unit or at another health care facility. These waits varied from a few hours to a few days. This meant that fewer treatment rooms were available for emergency patients with acute illnesses.

The Johnston Health Foundation raised over $400,000 to help renovate a space in the hospital to create a behavioral health holding area for patients and help with some additional renovations in the emergency department.

Gifts to this project helped build a safer, more secure space for patients coming to the emergency department to get behavioral health care. This holding area has eight rooms where patients suffering from illnesses such as depression and addiction can have privacy while getting the urgent care and treatment they need. Also, the addition of this special area has enabled the emergency department staff to more quickly and efficiently see and treat those patients with acute injuries or illnesses such as broken bones and pneumonia.

The hospital and foundation have joined forces to complete other much-needed renovations to the emergency department that will be finished by 2015.