A much-anticipated new option for health care in Northeast Richland County opened its doors Tuesday morning.

Lexington Medical Center Northeast at 3016 Longtown Commons Drive near the corner of Clemson and Longtown roads took the first step of a phased rollout Tuesday with the opening of its urgent care, imaging, physical therapy and occupational therapy services.

The urgent care center is open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. It is also opening in phases and eventually will have 24 treatment rooms across four zones. “It’s built for growth,” said Lexington Medical Center director Mike Dawkins, who oversaw much of the new facility’s creation.

The urgent care center is not an emergency room and isn’t intended to treat life-threatening emergencies, but it offers a range of services unique among urgent care centers, according to Dr. Thomas Gibbons, the center’s medical director.

“We have a full-spectrum lab for tests including suspected pulmonary embolisms and cardiac infarctions, and we’re adjacent to a full radiology suite offering ultrasound 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week,” Dr. Gibbons said. “You’re not going to find that at other centers.”

The urgent care center also features an experienced all-registered nurse staff, added Lara Moore, vice president of physician network administration.

A café and meeting room will open on the facility’s first floor next week, and additional practices and services will be added throughout the spring and summer, according to Jennifer Wilson, the hospital’s public relations manager. The second, third, fourth and fifth floors will house physician practices as satellite offices for many Lexington Medical Center specialists. The facility will include an outpatient surgery center, orthopedics and sports medicine, urology, podiatry, a heart and vascular center, ear-nose-throat/allergy practices, and a community education classroom.

The new 225,000-sq.-ft. building has been under construction for nearly two years and is the largest community medical center in the hospital system’s network.

“We want people who come here to think it looks, feels and smells new, but with latest technology and the experience of our decades of care,” Dawkins said.

A ribbon-cutting to officially open the new building is planned for March 16.

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