East Alabama Medical Center held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to debut the new Auburn Medical Pavilion in the Auburn Research Park on Friday.
The $33.7 million medical facility consists of three floors, housing the EAMC Freestanding Emergency Department, Ambulatory Surgery Center and, later this year, the Breast Health Center. The facility is located on Shug Jordan Parkway near College Street.
Laura Grill, EAMC president and CEO, expressed gratitude for the completion of the project, which she said had been in the works for a while.
“This is a project that started many years ago,” Grill said. “We knew we needed to add surgical capacity in our community. And we came together with a group of 16 of our physicians who currently practice at East Alabama Medical Center and developed a 50-50 joint venture with those physicians."
The EAMC Freestanding Emergency Department in the pavilion is the sixth freestanding emergency department in Alabama.
James Weyhenmeyer, Auburn University vice president for research and economic development, also spoke at the ceremony and expressed how important centers like this one are to the community.
“I think it is something that clearly if we do not take advantage of that, shame on us productively,” Weyhenmeyer said. “From my perspective, really what has come out of the ground, if you will, in this space is not only impressive, but it will have an incredible impact on the community. And I think that for so many reasons, as Auburn itself is growing as the University continues to expand in its capacities, I think these types of things need to be part of that infrastructure.”
Auburn University President Jay Gogue spoke about the challenges Auburn has faced during the COVID-19 pandemic and how EAMC helped the City through it.
“This is a great day in the life of our University ... it's a wonderful day,” Gogue said. “I'd be remiss if I didn't start by saying thank you to EAMC and all the healthcare workers for the last year, you helped us navigate through something we didn't have any experience with, and you really, I mean, just superbly guided Lee County, our community, this whole area in a way that we will always be thankful for. We really appreciate you.”
Mayor Ron Anders was the final speaker. Anders talked about different ways EAMC has taken quick action to serve the community through the pandemic, often working in unconventional ways.
“I think it's important to think about the other places that this institution has served this community this year,” Anders said. “I think about a double-wide trailer behind a hospital that put life-giving infusions into many people who were fighting COVID. I think about an old retail building that used to have a tenant but hadn't had a tenant in a while. It was retrofitted to provide as we speak here today over 90,000 vaccines to allow people to continue to live. And I think really what that speaks to is the heart and soul and the culture of East Alabama Medical Center, that they're willing to do whatever it takes to serve the people of this community.”
Laura Eason, EAMC chaplain, closed the ceremony with a prayer and blessing.
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