NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — North Little Rock leaders believe the $4 million Rose City Family Medicine Center could improve access to healthcare for thousands of people in Central Arkansas.
It's a personal decision for North Little Rock Mayor Terry Hartwick, who grew up in Rose City.
"I got hit with a rock when I was about nine years old," Hartwick said.
He was fortunate to live near a clinic at the time. However, nearly 20,000 people in the community haven't had access to a clinic in 10 years.
According to Hartwick, the nearest healthcare facility from Rose City is 20 minutes away.
"The more it takes to get to some places," Hartwick said. "The more lives you're going to lose."
The new facility will include at least 20 beds and a trauma room. Robert Birch is the city's Director of Economic Development; for the last six months, he and others have worked to transform the area.
"We wanted to identify an area that would stand out to the community and was easy to find and get to," Birch said.
Birch said the new healthcare facility could comfort people who don't have an enormous hospital but won't necessarily replace an emergency room.
"What this will do if it is something that is drastically needed right now, they're going to have the ability to take care of it," Birch said.
The new clinic will also serve as a training facility for nursing students.
Hartwick expects to cut the ribbon in early 2024 as North Little Rock partners with Baptist Health.