Officials broke ground on a new hospital in Thomson Wednesday, just off Washington Road.
It'll replace the current University Hospital McDuffie campus, which is off West Hill Street in Thomson.
A call to 9-1-1 could soon get you help faster in McDuffie County – thanks to a new hospital.
“We are excited over having the facility that will meet the needs for everyone. It's so convenient by the by-pass and I-20,” said Mary Etna Dudley.
“We rate these on 20 minute drive times. By being near I-20, you are closer to a lot more people than being in downtown Thomson,” said CEO of University Healthcare Systems, James Davis.
The $30-million dollar will facility will have 25 patient rooms, but will have room to expand to 100 patient rooms.
University Hospital took over the McDuffie Regional Medical Center last May. University Hospital plans to donate the current hospital building in downtown Thomson to the Family Y.
“I think McDuffie County wins. They don't have to travel an hour to get to other hospitals. Also communities nearby here will also benefit by having care closer to home,” said Davis.
The new facility will have state-of-the-art equipment including imaging units, trauma care, ER rooms and a heliport in case patients have to be airlifted.
“I'm pleased. I'm 82 so I just I hope I live to see it,” said Mary Etna Dudley.
The current University Hospital building is more than 60-years old.
Many of the services currently offered in the downtown Augusta location will also be offered at the new Thomson facility, which open in fall of 2014.