A new hospital in Anson County will be located at 2261 U.S. Hwy. 74 in Wadesboro, after the Anson County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a rezoning request for Carolinas HealthCare System Tuesday night.
The hospital will be located on 10 acres on U.S. 74, between Anson High School and the dialysis center, said Peggy Hey, director of real estate development for Carolinas HealthCare System. The 15-bed, 45,000-square-foot hospital will replace the current Anson Community Hospital on Morven Road, which is nearly 100 years old.
The facility is a single-story design, Hey said, because just one floor will allow for better transport of patients. There will also be a therapy garden, which will feature small trees, shrubs, flowers and benches. “It will be a peaceful place for stressful times,” Hey said.
Hey added that the Department of Transportation has approved a right-lane taper on U.S. 74 at the proposed site, and that the service dock area of the new hospital will be screened from the highway.
“Contrary to some other beliefs, this is not an urgent care center,” said Collin Lane, group vice president at Carolinas HealthCare System. He said the healthcare system’s vision is to bring a comprehensive healthcare model to Anson County. “We strive to meet [the community’s] needs by creating a sustainable, long-term healthcare model that provides high-quality health care through innovative partnerships and access to the right care for the right need at the right time,” Lane explained.
The new hospital will provide patient-centered medical care, an emergency department, inpatient and observation unit, surgery, digital imaging, pharmacy, laboratory and community room. There are also plans to re-establish the Healthy Ansonians Task Force and the parish nurse program.
The healthcare system is also considering adding a family practice residency program at Anson, and improving the number of specialists in the county as well. “This will still be a patient-centered medical home,” Lane said. “We’re just reducing the size of its footprint.”
During the public hearing on the rezoning request, county planner Josie Lodder reported that the planning board had unanimously approved the request to rezone the 10 acres from Highway Business (HB) and Residential Agricultural (RA) to General Business (GB).
Anson County Chamber of Commerce executive director Lynn Edwards spoke in favor of the rezoning. “This hospital has been here a long time,” she said, “and it has been called a band-aid station, but sometimes you need a band-aid. I think the community is excited about this and would like to see the building begin to take shape.”
Ansonville Mayor Lyndell Ingram also spoke in favor of the rezoning. “The citizens of Anson County deserve a good project,” he said. “And I hope you’re looking down the road to extend that 10 acres. You better get ready for more people to come back home. Anson County is waking up.”
Ingram said he’d also like to see a chapel somewhere in the new facility, and Lane and Anson Community Hospital president Dr. Fred Thompson said that a chapel could be added.
Wadesboro Town Manager Alex Sewell spoke during the public hearing as well, and offered the town’s support in whatever the way the county needs.
Commissioner Ross Streater motioned to approve the rezoning request, and it passed 7-0. “We are thrilled with your confidence and investment in Anson County,” Commission Chair Anna Baucom said.