St. Tammany Parish Hospital is set to open a second emergency department, located in Mandeville, in what officials say is part of an ongoing effort to provide patient care closer to home.

The Mandeville Emergency Department will open sometime this month, spokeswoman Melissa Hodgson said, and will be a full-service emergency facility that can treat emergencies including heart attacks and strokes.

Located at 2929 U.S. 190 in Mandeville, the facility has nine private exam rooms that include specialty rooms for pediatric and obstetrics/gynecology patients, Hodgson said. On-site diagnostics include X-Ray, CT and lab.

The new facility will have access to specialists as well, including Ochsner vascular neurologists who will be available vie TeleStroke.

Hodgson said the expanded Emergency Department on the hospital's main campus in Covington stays very busy, and that was part of the decision to open a Mandeville ED.

"We definitely see opening the Mandeville Emergency Department as aligned with our mission to deliver care close to home for our patients," she said.

She stressed that patients should use the new ED for true emergencies and not for needs that can be met by a primary care provider or an urgent care clinic.

"The board-certified emergency medicine specialists that staff our main ED will also staff Mandeville," Hodgson said. "A member of that physician team will work alongside STPH employees, including advance practitioners, nurses, respiratory and radiology professionals, security and support staff," she said.

The new ED comes after a major expansion to the hospital's main campus Emergency Department that began in 2014 and increased the ED from 20,000 square feet to 30,000 square feet with 40 private patient care spaces, five of them for children.

At the time the hospital launched that expansion, officials cited an uptick in ED visits. The hospital continues to see more ED patients each year, Hodson said.

Slidell Memorial Hospital, which expanded its ED in 2013, said population growth and an aging population were factors driving an increased demand for emergency services.

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