Freestanding emergency room to open Feb. 15 in Northwest Austin

First Choice ER, a Dallas-based company that operates full-service, freestanding emergency rooms, will open its 16th facility Feb. 15.

The facility, located in the former Blockbuster at 10407 Jollyville Road, offers the same emergency room services as a hospital and hires board-certified physicians and nurses. The difference is First Choice ER aims to have wait times to get into an exam room of no more than five minutes.

"We're pretty good at that," front office director Judy Novak said.

First Choice ER has locations in Fort Worth and Houston as well as one in Pflugerville with plans to open more in Austin. The company is opening four new facilities in February, including one in Katy. It just celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2012 and was started by an ER physician in Flower Mound. The idea behind First Choice ER is to offer ER services in the community.

"People don't want to have to drive 30 to 40 minutes," Chief Operating Officer Graham Cherrington said.

The Arboretum-area facility has seven patient exam rooms, including one with an under-the-sea motif geared toward children, a lab and an X-ray room. It is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Patients who visit the facility will only receive one bill, and First Choice ER offers a payment system for uninsured patients.

"We're excited to provide great emergency medical care to the community," Facility Medical Director Dr. Stephen Van Roekel said.

In honor of the grand opening, First Choice ER donated $5,000 to Austin Pets Alive. For more information on First Choice ER, visit the website or call 512-628-0470.



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