The public is invited to a community open house Saturday, Dec. 3 from 9 a.m. to noon to celebrate the opening of a new Genesis emergency department at the Bettendorf HealthPlex, 2140 53rd Ave., Bettendorf.

The entrance to the new Genesis emergency department at the Bettendorf HealthPlex, 2140 53rd Ave., Bettendorf.

The nine-bed emergency department represents the first Genesis ER in the growing Bettendorf and Scott County area, and the first to be set apart from a hospital campus.

The emergency department – to open following the closure of the Genesis West ER on Dec. 6 – features nine treatment rooms, a trauma room, triage room, and an ambulance bay. It will have its own distinct entrance at the HealthPlex, which houses family medicine and pediatric providers, lab services and the Genesis Imaging Center.

Genesis Medical Center president Jordan Voigt, left, and Dr. Michael Craddick discuss the new Bettendorf emergency department on Friday, Dec. 2, 2022 (photo by Jonathan Turner).

Establishing an emergency department in Bettendorf is part of a comprehensive plan, announced in April, to expand capacity and better provide patients with the right care, in the right place, at the right time, according to a Friday release from Genesis Health System.

“With this new emergency department in Bettendorf, Genesis is strategically adding emergency access to a growing area of Scott County,” Genesis president/CEO Doug Cropper said in the release.

“Genesis offers a wide range of services in Bettendorf, including primary and specialty care, convenient care, sports medicine, occupational health, imaging, physical therapy, and a hospice house,” he said.

With its first Bettendorf ER (which is about six miles northeast of the Genesis Medical Center, East Campus), “Genesis is better able to fulfill our vision to be the best place to receive care for residents in Bettendorf and surrounding communities,” Cropper said.

Jordan Voigt, president of Genesis Medical Center, Davenport, said that the health system is excited to give patients this new option, and ER staff from Genesis West will be transferred among East Campus and the Bettendorf HealthPlex.

“Any treatment Genesis patients receive at the new Bettendorf emergency department will be reflected in their Genesis electronic health record,” Voigt said.

Listening to consumers

“It’s really listening to consumers and patients in this market,” he said at a Friday morning media tour of the new facility. “They requested emergency services in this area. We’re excited to offer this as a new opportunity in the growing Bettendorf market.”

One of the nine treatment rooms in the new Bettendorf emergency department (photo by Jonathan Turner).

Genesis completed a $1-million, eight-month modernization of the HealhPlex for the new emergency department, converting former provider offices and exam rooms, Voigt said. Some medical staff were moved from there to the Genesis Convenient Care Woodlands Clinic, 4321 53rd Ave., Bettendorf, just east of the Springs at Bettendorf.

The Genesis plan aimed to consolidate emergency services in Davenport, to remedy a duplication of services at Genesis West and East, which are just two miles apart. Between those two campuses, Genesis averages 64,000 ER visits a year, with a majority at East, Voigt said.

With the modernization of East Campus’ emergency department to handle the most complex emergency and trauma care needs, the West Campus ER will permanently close at 8 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 6. Genesis will no longer offer emergency care at the West Campus site at 1401 W. Central Park Ave.

The East Campus ER modernization has included added beds, some of which are specially designed for behavioral health and substance abuse patients in crisis.

Planning 9,600 visits

Genesis expects the Bettendorf emergency department to see about 9,600 visits a year, Voigt said, with incremental growth. That will relieve some of the burden from East Campus, he noted.

A view of the Genesis emergency department, at the Bettendorf HealthPlex, 2140 53rd Ave. (photo by Jonathan Turner).

Higher-level care, including trauma care and surgery, will mainly be handled at Genesis East (which was recently designated as “Trauma Center of the Year” by the state of Iowa), Voigt said.

From West Campus, 70 percent of ER staff will go to East, with the rest in Bettendorf, and Genesis plans to add more staff, including nurses.

After the first year, they will reassess Bettendorf to see if growth is required. Genesis continues to invest at West Campus, where they have behavioral health, inpatient rehab, Gilda’s Club, infusion, and oncology, Voigt said.

“We’re growing so much, we’re hiring — so if you’re a nurse, allied health professional, physician, send me an email and we’d love to connect with you,” he said, noting Genesis has one of the busiest emergency departments in the state. Six additional registered nurses are being sought for East and Bettendorf.

The nurses’ station at the new Genesis emergency department in the Bettendorf HealthPlex (photo by Jonathan Turner).

There is a centralized nurses’ station in Bettendorf with views of all treatment rooms.

Medical director perspective

Dr. Michael Craddick, co-medical director for the GMC emergency department, said the Bettendorf facility will help Genesis deal with the increase in RSV cases, which typically don’t require hospitalization.

“They just need an ER evaluation, so we’ll have additional space to provide that,” he said. “All patients that need hospitalization at East Campus, so that takes away the need for transportation from West Campus. One additional opportunity we’ll have here, this is an office building for family practice as well as pediatrics.

Dr. Michael Craddick, co-medical director of the Genesis emergency department, during a tour of the Bettendorf facility on Dec. 2, 2022 (photo by Jonathan Turner).

“Many times, patients are seen in the office here and they may need an ER evaluation but not a hospitalization,” Dr. Craddick said. “So we have an opportunity to see additional patients, referred to this ER instead, that would have had to go to the East Campus. I do think overall, we’ll be able to better care for the RSV population as well as our community as a whole.”

Having ERs that are more physically separated is more effective, he noted.

“It makes sense to have one larger center and expand out in Bettendorf,” Dr. Craddick said. “That’s better than having two services within such close distance. We are able to reach a broader range of the community and expand. The East has taken on some extra volume that we didn’t have before.”

He expects Bettendorf’s ER services will exceed 9.600 visits a year.

One of the nurse’s stations has security camera views of the facility (photo by Jonathan Turner).

“I think we’ll need to expand some services here eventually and at East,” Dr. Craddick said. “Whether it’s a year or two years, this area will be expanding.”

The holiday open house in Bettendorf will be 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 3, and visitors can not only tour the new facility but enjoy family fun and kid-friendly activities. There will be free photos with Santa, holiday cookie-decorating, face-painting, crafts and games and hot cocoa.