RENO, Nev. — Four years ago, a group of providers and physicians at Northern Nevada Health System began discussing the region's need for better access to healthcare.
According to NNHS, Nevada ranks 48th in the U.S. when it comes to access to primary care. What's more, Reno is in the midst of a major growth spurt, with projections to swell by more than 100,000 residents over the next 10 years, according to the Northern Nevada Economic Planning Indicators Committee.
“The growth that was happening here really aligned to show that there is a key need not only for more hospital beds, but also for outpatients services a big expansion of primary care services,” Alan Olive, CEO of Northern Nevada Medical Center, told the NNBV.
Olive and Co. have blueprints to help meet that need. On Oct. 18, NNHS officially broke ground on Northern Nevada Sierra Medical Center, the first full-service hospital to be built in the region in nearly a century. Full-scale construction is expected to begin later this year.
“We're very excited about it,” Olive said in an interview with the NNBV after the Oct. 18 press conference. “There is an energy here. We have strong support from our provider community, businesses, as well as other providers of healthcare, because they see the need for improved access to care.”
Projected to open in 2022, Sierra Medical Center will be built on a patch of land at Double R Boulevard and Longley Lane in South Reno. The campus will feature 350,000 square feet of hospital and medical office space, including 200 private patient rooms, according to NNHS.
Moreover, the hospital will feature the following comprehensive services: emergency care, orthopedics, surgical services, labor and delivery, neonatal intensive care, oncology, cardiovascular and neurosurgical services. Outpatient services will also be provided.
“Sierra (Medical Center) fills in some key areas that we currently don't provide (at NNMC's main hospital in Sparks),” Olive said. “This provides the whole gamut, not only for this community, but for the entire region of Northern Nevada, Eastern California (and) Idaho.”
Construction of the hospital, led by Las Vegas-based SR Construction, is estimated to create 1,500 jobs, according to NNHS. Once finished, the medical center is expected to initially staff about 1,000 healthcare workers “and then grow jobs as we need them,” Olive said.
Sierra Medical Center will join NNHS's growing operations in Reno-Sparks, which includes NNMC, as well as Quail Surgical and Pain Management at 6630 S. McCarran Blvd. and ER at McCarran NW, set to open in Northwest Reno in 2020.