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Friday, October 9, 2009 - 3:12am

Columbus Medical Center Embarks on Huge Expansion

The emergency room at the Columbus Medical Center will triple in size to accommodate a growing community.

Hospital officials says in the last three years, the medical center has experienced double digit growth in the number of patients.

The increase largely stems from population growth in the area and an increase in high-tech medical services offered by the hospital, like CT scanning.

The recession, hospitals officials say, has also led to more uninsured patients ending up in the emergency room.

Lance Duke, president of the medical center, says in its current form, the hospital cannot care for the growing number of patients.

"We found that we are undersized for the visit volume and we need to accommodate."

Hospital officials say the project will cost an estimated $25 million.

They anticipate the the expansion to be completed by the fall of 2011.