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MEDIA ADVISORY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 10, 2009

St. Luke's Opens Community Emergency Center in Pearland

PEARLAND, TX - St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital announces a new St. Luke’s Community Emergency Center is open at 11713 Shadow Creek Parkway, a fast-growing area in the Pearland community.

Kenneth Direkly, MD, assistant medical director of the Community Emergency Center and Pearland resident, said, "St. Luke's Community Emergency Center - Pearland will be able to provide a higher level of care than a clinic or urgent care center, or non-hospital affiliate clinic because the service is supported 24 hours a day by a hospital, ready for emergencies, with emergency physicians on duty 24 hours a day."

At nearly 14,000 square feet, the hospital-based St. Luke’s Community Emergency Center - Pearland will provide emergency services including X-ray, CT scan and on-site laboratory.  The equipment and facilities are modeled after the main hospitals' emergency department - staffed with emergency physicians, nurses and clinical staff.  The innovative healthcare service comes at a time when Pearland is experiencing rapid population growth, which continues to create a shortage of emergency services.

"Throughout our area, hospital emergency rooms are overburdened and crowded," said Karen Myers, MSN, RN, CNAA, vice president and chief nursing officer, St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital. "St. Luke’s Community Emergency Centers are intended to help relieve large hospital ER capacity problems, while creating a place for people with emergencies to go for care in close proximity to their neighborhood."

St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital has been a leader in freestanding emergency departments since opening the first one in 2000.  As the largest provider of freestanding emergency services in Houston, St. Luke's prides itself in bringing Texas Medical Center quality emergency care to communities 24 hours a day every day, including weekends and holidays.

There are currently four other freestanding emergency centers affiliated with St. Luke's Episcopal Health System Hospitals in Houston and The Woodlands.  For more information on St. Luke's and for updates on future Community Emergency Centers, go to www.stlukesemergency.com.


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