Baylor University Medical Center Announces Completion of $47million Expansion of Emergency Department

Baylor Dallas Now One of Largest Level I Trauma Centers in the Nation

Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas (Baylor Dallas) has announced the completion of its $47 million expansion of its emergency department (ED), making it one of the largest in the nation. The expansion enables the Baylor Dallas ED to broaden its Level 1 trauma capabilities, expand its minor emergency care center, and add additional patient care areas. 

The newly dedicated Riggs Emergency Department now expands to 78,000 square feet, with 87 patient spaces including four major trauma care beds. It is projected to treat more than 100,000 patients annually. 

"Recent research published by Harvard University found that wait times across the nation in emergency departments increased 4.1 percent per year, which was thought to be caused by overcrowding" says Dighton Packard, MD, chief of emergency medicine and physician on the medical staff at Baylor Dallas. "Our experience here at Baylor was no different. With our renovation we hope to reduce wait times and increase satisfaction" 

Baylor Dallas is one of two adult Level I trauma centers in North Texas, serving an 18,000 square mile region, and providing care for 40 percent of the serious trauma cases in the area. In addition to its Level 1 designation, the Riggs Emergency Department is also a JCAHO-certified primary stroke center. 

"The area's increasing need for life-saving emergency services and trauma care prompted our growth," says John McWhorter, president of Baylor University Medical Center. "However, it is our goal to improve efficiency and alleviate overcrowding." 

The department, which now extends the length of a football field, offers advanced technology, equipment and services to support both routine and trauma care, including: 

  • Electronic medical record with physician order entry;
  • 2 CT scanners, one of which is a 64-slice CT;
  • 4 radiology suites;
  • Ultrasound within the department;
  • Centralized telemetry;
  • On-site laboratory;
  • Stat-Scan for trauma patients; and
  • Disaster preparedness components including decontamination rooms, a containment room, command center and showers for biological agents.

The new Baylor Dallas ED is named the Riggs Emergency Department, after Leonard R. Riggs Jr., M.D., and his wife Peggy. Dr. Riggs was chief of emergency medicine at Baylor Dallas from 1974 to 1998. Dr. and Mrs. Riggs, along with philanthropic support from the Friends of Leonard Riggs Jr., M.D., provided a significant contribution toward the campaign to fund the expansion. 

About Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas
Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas, a 997-bed not-for-profit academic hospital, is a major patient care and research center in the southwest. The nationally acclaimed medical center serves as flagship hospital for Baylor Health Care System and has earned Magnet status for "Excellence in Nursing Services" from the American Nurses Credentialing Center--the organization's highest level of recognition. 

In addition to its Level 1 trauma center, Baylor Dallas is also home to many nationally ranked centers of excellence including transplant, cardiovascular services, orthopaedics, oncology, digestive diseases, neurosciences and gynecology. In 2007, U.S.News & World Report recognized Baylor Dallas in seven specialty areas for the 15th consecutive year in its "America's Best Hospitals" guide. 

Physicians are members of the medical staff at one of Baylor Health Care System's subsidiary, community or affiliated medical centers and are neither employees nor agents of those medical centers, Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas or Baylor Health Care System.

About Baylor Scott & White Health
As the largest not-for-profit health system in the state of Texas, Baylor Scott & White promotes the health and well-being of every individual, family and community it serves. It is committed to making quality care more accessible, convenient and affordable through its integrated delivery network, which includes the Baylor Scott & White Health Plan, Baylor Scott & White Research Institute, the Baylor Scott & White Quality Alliance and its leading digital health platform – MyBSWHealth. Through 51 hospitals and more than 1,200 access points, including flagship academic medical centers in Dallas, Fort Worth and Temple, the system offers the full continuum of care, from primary to award-winning specialty care. Founded as a Christian ministry of healing more than a century ago, Baylor Scott & White today serves more than three million Texans. For more information, visit: