Even seven years after Cedar Park Regional Medical Center built its medical campus near Toll 183A and Medical Parkway, one of its closest neighbors was a herd of cows.
The medical center will turn 10 years old in December, and CEO Brad Holland joked that the cows served as a reminder that the hospital sat in a developing area.
“One of my milestones is when we grew up enough that the cows finally had to move away,” he said. “It’s a humble reminder to know that although we consider ourselves big-city medicine competing on a national level, it still reminds us that we’re only 10 years into our history, and it was just three years ago that we still had cows next to the hospital.”
From building expansions to the amount of medical services offered, the hospital has seen numerous changes throughout the past decade. It has also become a driver in the city’s quality of life, said Cedar Park Mayor Matt Powell.
The medical center also has more changes planned, including the expansion of the hospital with a new wing in August.
Holland said the medical center began expanding its services about five years after it opened. The hospital began offering interventional cardiology in 2013 and opened the Heart & Vascular Center two years later.
As Cedar Park’s population grew, Holland said CPRMC added a second medicinal office building on the east side of the campus and built new units in the hospital. One of those was the emergency observation unit, which sits adjacent to the emergency room and holds six beds.
Around that same time, hospital leadership also collaborated with Seton Healthcare to build the Pediatric Specialty Center in 2014, which sits to the west of the hospital next to Toll 183A. The building includes a pediatric sub-specialty medical group, physicians with CPRMC and independent physicians.
Last year, the hospital opened the Family Imaging Center inside the Pediatric Specialty Center and opened a freestanding emergency department in Leander.
Holland said both the medical campus and the retail and commercial corridor along RM 1431 and Toll 183A have developed in the past decade.
“With the opening of the hospital, it really created not only a medical hub, but the retail shopping foundation as well,” he said. “As we continue to grow, you also see the retail shopping hub continue to grow around us.”
The medical center employs more than 600 people and has 700 physicians operating with privileges in the area, making it the largest private employer in the city, Powell said. He added that residents can see how retail and commercial venues have popped up around the hospital throughout the years.
“It’s additional sales tax collection, but beyond that, it’s meant more places for families and local workers to shop, to dine, to be entertained,” he said. “That area around it is one of the fun, vibrant areas in town, and the hospital and its employees have been a big driver of that.”
In anticipation for future growth, CPRMC was built with a vacant fourth floor with three wings, Holland said. In August, the hospital will open one of the wings on the floor as the Joint and Spine Center, which will have 15 beds designated for orthopedic cases.
Holland said orthopedic and spine surgeries are often scheduled in advance, which are secondary to emergency surgeries in the emergency room. The new center will place the orthopedic surgeries in a designated unit, he said.
He said the surgery unit will be open Monday through Friday, which will differentiate from other orthopedic surgery units that schedule surgeries Monday through Wednesdays. Holland said this will allow the designated nurses to work Monday through Friday without weekend work expectations.
“The goal here is that the expanding hospital and emergency services won’t disrupt the elective nature of the spine and joint center cases, and also offer an environment where our staff can provide better care in a setting that gives our staff greater flexibility and good work-life balance as well,” he said.
The hospital will also begin offering 3-D mammography inside its Family Imaging Center in October. CPRMC spokesperson Laura Balla said the medical center wanted to launch the new service to coincide with breast cancer awareness month.
Current mammography images are offered in 2-D, so the 3-D images will be able to give the physicians a better sense of the overall breast tissue, she said.
“Many studies have shown that as an evolution in the technology, [having]clearer imaging of the breast tissue can help in the diagnosis of breast cancer,” Balla said.
The hospital also has plans in place for future expansions. Holland said CPRMC will be able to open two additional wings on the fourth floor, and the medical center owns about 20 acres to the north of its property where more medical office buildings can be built to meet the needs of the future.
“It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years. It’s almost hard to imagine a time without [the CPRMC],” Powell said. “They’re absolutely essential to what Cedar Park is today.”