Sometimes a few seconds can make a difference in an emergency, which is one reason Coconut Creek is embracing the construction of a free-standing ER.

West Boca Medical Center celebrated the topping off of the 20,000-sq.-ft. ER building along State Road 7 on April 29 with the mayor, city manager and commissioners in attendance. 

The ER will open this fall a few blocks south of the Sawgrass Expressway, and will be able to handle issues ranging from cuts, sports injuries and breathing problems to head injuries, strokes and heart attacks.

Frank Edward, chief of the Margate/Coconut Creek Fire Department, says the ER fits in with how ambulances transport victims to the most appropriate nearby facility.

“Anytime we can get people to a closer facility it is beneficial to the patient,” he says.

Mitch Feldman, CEO of the medical center, says the ER will offer board-certified emergency physicians and specially trained registered nurses, which is a higher-level of credentials than what some urgent care facilities offer.

Feldman says the hospital is planning two more free-standing ERs, one in Broward County and another in Palm Beach County.

West Boca Medical Center has received recognition for the quality of its care, such as being a state-certified primary stroke center and getting an achievement award in 2013 from the American Stroke Association and American Heart Association. Healthgrades and South Florida Parenting have recognized the quality of its maternal care.

Mayor Lisa Aronson says the ER is an example of how Coconut Creek has filled out the array of services available to residences.

“We have become much more of a full-service community where people can live, work and play,” she says.

The mayor also lauded the ER for seeking LEED certification and planning a stainless steel public sculpture and water feature with a landscaped walkway for those arriving by bus. The 45 jobs at the ER will also be a welcomed addition to the city’s employment scene.