A rendering of the Sierra Medical Center, which will include 350,000 square feet of hospital and medical office space, that is projected to open in South Reno in 2022.
RENO, Nev. — With the population and job creation booming in Reno-Sparks and Las Vegas, Nevada has consistently ranked high on national lists of healthiest economies in the United States.
When it comes to literal healthcare, however,
the Silver State's outlook is not quite as sunny.
In fact, in a 2019 scorecard released by the
Commonwealth Fund, Nevada ranked 48th in the nation for overall
healthcare. The report scored the Silver State at 50th for access
and affordability, 51st for prevention and treatment, 38th
for avoidable hospital use and cost and 39th for the healthiness of
its residents' lifestyles.
This comes at a time when Northern Nevada is growing
at an especially rapid clip. All told, Reno-Sparks' population is projected to
increase by more than 100,000 residents over the next 10 years, according to
the Northern Nevada Economic Planning Indicators Committee.
These glaring figures illustrate why Northern Nevada Health System is bringing the region its first hospital in 100 years: Northern Nevada Sierra Medical Center (SMC).
“This investment isn't just about a hospital, it's about a full, complete health system of care that invests in our community's health to get them access to care at a good cost, at the best quality,” Alan Olive, CEO of Sierra Medical Center, said in a February interview. “Obviously, primary care is a core piece that we're adding that. If you think about people's health and wellness, the lack of access to primary care reduces the availability for preventive care, so that's a key piece.
"And then obviously the access to emergency rooms or beds.”
In all, NNHS — which is an affiliate of
Northern Nevada Medical Center, the 108-bed acute care hospital in Sparks — says
the new Sierra Medical Center will feature the following comprehensive
services: emergency care, orthopedics, surgical services, labor and delivery,
neonatal intensive care, oncology, cardiovascular and neurological services.
Outpatient services will also be provided.
Projected to open its doors in early 2022, SMC — which broke ground in February — is being 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.
Olive stressed that the design of the new SMC
facility will make it easy to navigate, inside and out, citing directional
views and plentiful staff to help guide patients and visitors.
“Sometimes you have older hospitals where you
get lost right when you walk in the door,” Olive said. “People will be able to
park close to the facility, and it'll be very simple to navigate inside the
Las Vegas-based SR Construction is leading the construction of Sierra Medical Center, which began this month upon arrival of steel on the property.
The project, Olive said, is estimated to create between 12,000 and 15,000 construction jobs. Once completed, SMC is projecting to staff around 900 healthcare workers at the onset and “then grow more jobs as we expand,” he said.