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New hospital coming for Apex region

The big health care news in the Apex area this year is the construction of a new full-fledged hospital in nearby Holly Springs. Ground was broken in March 2019 for the UNC REX Holly Springs Hospital and it is expected to open in spring 2021.

UNC REX spokesman Alan Wolf said that Raleigh-based organization, one of the biggest groups of hospitals, medical facilities and physicians in North Carolina, has been planning such a facility at its campus on Avent Ferry Road and N.C. Highway 55 for years.

“This is a very fast-growing community and the people in that market have to travel relatively far to get medical care,” Wolf said. “The land became available a while back – about 40 acres that formerly held farmland, forest and a couple of houses. In 2012, we opened the Holly Springs campus with a 30,000-square-foot medical office building that houses a wide range of services, including an urgent-care clinic, primary-care physicians, pediatricians, cardiologists, gastro-intestinal physicians, ophthalmology, diagnostic imaging and a laboratory.”

In 2018, UNC REX opened a second, 45,000-square-foot medical office building on the Holly Springs campus. Services there include a sleep disorders center, North Carolina Surgery, REX Vascular Specialists, UNC Family Medicine & Pediatrics, Raleigh Orthopaedic Clinic, North Carolina Heart & Vascular and REX Pulmonary Specialists.

“Planning continued for a UNC REX Holly Springs Hospital but it took a long time to get a certificate of need from the state,” Wolf said.

The past and future population growth in southwest Wake County – with Holly Springs itself expected to grow from 35,000 to 50,000 in a few years and Apex having ballooned from 4,900 to 60,000 people since 1990 – finally convinced state officials that a new hospital was needed. “We have many newcomers drawn by the strong jobs market, but we also are getting many retirees,” Wolf said, and as people age, their medical needs tend to increase.

When it’s finished, the seven-story, 245,000-square-foot, $160 million hospital will be the tallest building in Holly Springs. It will include 50 in-patient acute-care beds, and a 24/7 emergency department and operating rooms. It is expected to create 275 permanent jobs.

“It also will offer labor and delivery, so sometime shortly after it opens we will welcome the first child born there,” Wolf said. “Besides conventional childbirth, we will offer midwives and even have bathtubs for women who prefer water birth. Women in labor now have to go to Cary, Raleigh, Chapel Hill or Durham.

“We’re also emphasizing wellness to help people before they become sick. The hospital will have nutrition classes and walking trails connecting to the town’s greenways.”

The new hospital’s connection with the UNC Health Care organization will allow patients with especially challenging conditions, such as strokes, burns or brain injuries, to be transferred to UNC REX’s main hospital in Raleigh or UNC Medical Center in Chapel Hill, where the finest specialists can work with them.

UNC REX celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2019. The original Rex Hospital opened in Raleigh in 1894, after a wealthy Raleigh tanner named John Rex bequeathed money to build a hospital in that state capital city.

Meanwhile, over in Chapel Hill, the University of North Carolina opened UNC Hospital in association with its medical school. The state-owned UNC Health Care system has continued to expand and in 2000 partnered with REX Healthcare to form the not-for-profit UNC REX Healthcare.

Anchored by the flagship hospitals in Raleigh and Chapel Hill, UNC Health Care now includes about a dozen affiliated hospitals, as well as physician practices, outpatient clinics and more located across the state.

In Apex UNC REX operates the UNC REX Rehabilitation and Nursing Care Center, a 107-bed, five-star-rated center that offers both short-term rehab and long-time skilled nursing care.

UNC REX’s campus in nearby Cary includes an urgent care center, a fitness and wellness center, and a large day-surgery center to handle surgeries for everything from ear infections to kidney stones. UNC REX is opening two additional facilities in Cary as well, a medical office building near WakeMed Cary that will open later this year, and one in the Panther Creek area opening in 2020.

WakeMed Apex Healthplex

Meeting a multitude of medical needs, the WakeMed Apex Healthplex offers patients direct access to care when they need it most. The healthplex boasts an around-the-clock emergency department, which includes 12 private treatment rooms, two private rooms for patient triage, the most advanced imaging equipment, clean waiting rooms and an ambulance area.

The Healthplex is also home to physician offices and WakeMed Heart & Vascular Physicians’ newest location. Serving Apex and Holly Springs, WakeMed Physicians Practices – Primary Care – Apex offers top-of-the-line primary and family medicine to those ages 6 and older.

On top of that, the Healthplex is home to several pediatric services, such as cardiology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, surgery and weight management.

WakeMed Apex Healthplex is part of the WakeMed Health & Hospitals system, which has been serving the community for nearly 60 years.

Enjoying the Golden Years

From memory care to independent senior living, individuals looking to stay active and social during their retirement years will enjoy a wide range of high-quality options in Apex.

Cambridge Village of Apex offers seniors 55 and older resort-style living on 14 acres of picturesque scenes and trails. Living options range from studios to two-bedroom apartments, each with a kitchen and private bathroom. Amenities include a full-service spa with a massage therapist, facials, a health and wellness center with exercise equipment and water aerobics in a heated salt-water pool, as well as a clubhouse with a cafe, theater and library.

From assisted living to Alzheimer’s and dementia care, Spring Arbor of Apex provides residents with quality care through all stages of life. A book-filled library, walking paths, wellness rooms, a beauty salon and barber shop, as well as a sunroom are just a few of the offerings. Spring Arbor provides residents three chef-prepared meals a day, laundry services, housekeeping, pharmacy services and custom care plans.

Waltonwood Cary Parkway offers a full continuum of care, from independent living to assisted living to memory care. Residents can choose from studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments, complete with a kitchen and private bathroom. Amenities include a putting green, a pool, a movie theater, a post office, walking paths and a library. w