By Mike DeNardo

LANGHORNE, Pa. (CBS) – A Bucks County hospital is launching a major expansion of its ER.

The ceremonial shovels went into the ground today at St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne, marking the beginning of a yearlong, $22-million project that will expand the capacity of its emergency department.

Hospital CEO Greg Wozniak says demand for emergency room services is rising as the region’s population ages.

“When our community reaches the age of 45 or older, they start to use health care services two to three times more frequently than when they were younger than 45,” he notes.  “When they reach 65, they double and triple again.”

Wozniak (fourth from right in photo) says the new ER will have 80 treatment areas, compared to 40 now, allowing the hospital to treat 100,000 emergency patients per year, up from the current 70,000.

The ER will also have a “rapid assessment unit,” providing care for patients with minor illnesses or injuries who may not have to be admitted to the hospital.

St. Mary joins other area hospitals — including Virtua in Voorhees, Einstein in Montgomery County, and Cooper in Camden — that are expanding or opening new facilities.

Reported by Mike DeNardo, KYW Newsradio 1060



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