In Nevada, there are about 200 physicians per 100,000 people, which limits access to care for many. Northern Nevada Medical Center is hoping to curb that shortage of physicians, especially since northern Nevada continues to grow.

The rising number of patients has put a strain on the emergency department at the center, especially.  Construction to expand the center started this summer. They're currently in phase one of a three-part expansion at the hospital on East Prater Way.

Alan Olive, CEO of Northern Nevada Medical Center says, "Phase one addresses multiple things. One, it addresses emergency room capacity, it also addresses the medical group expansion for primary care. It also adds 16 private patient beds, as well."

The hospital commissioned a third party study back in 2016, which validated the need for more health resources in the area.  The expansion is a direct response to that, as they see their patient numbers continue to grow.  Olive says, "Not only is the market growing as we know by the boom we're experiencing here in northern Nevada, but it's also because of preference." He continues, "We're the only hospital in the Reno-Sparks area that offers 100% private rooms for our patients."

When this phase is finished, there will be more room for post-op patients, as well as surgical capacity, including advanced technology.  Olive says, "We have robots that require more size and space."

Olive says there are more developments in the works for the medical group as a whole, but says they will be announced as they come along. Phase one costs about $11.8 million. Olive adds, "Northern Nevada Medical Center is part of a national corporation which they will fund, so they're investing in our community."

The improvements on this campus also include a new parking lot, with 55 more parking spaces--but they say there's still a need for more.  The third floor expansion is expected to be finished by July or August of next year.