Beebe location closing, looking to future
Another season of medical assistance in Millville has passed for Beebe Medical Center. The Millville location will close on Tuesday after three months of treating locals and visitors in the area for minor injuries, flu-like symptoms and broken bones.
But this summer’s end means it’s one summer season closer to the day when Beebe makes its presence felt full-time in the Route 26 corridor. After buying land in Clarksville earlier this year, Beebe’s staff is currently raising funds for a full-service medical building in the area.
The Lewes-based medical facility has provided assistance in Millville for 23 years, throughout the summer season from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekend, and is looking to upgrade in the ever-growing area. Through Aug. 23, however, the part-time Millville center had served about 4,500 patients on the 2006 season, according to a Beebe press release.
“It’s been a busy summer,” Fran Needham, Beebe’s director of emergency services, said in that release. Although the center will remain open until 7 a.m. on Sept. 5, Needham’s account might be a bit deceptive when compared to years past. Last year, Beebe’s Millville staff treated 5,400 patients, a 14 percent increase from the 5,245 that were treated in the summer of 2004.
The number of patients treated at the center has risen 25 percent since 2000, according to the release, and Beebe officials are convinced a year-round facility is necessary.
No date for a groundbreaking ceremony is yet set for the 10-acre parcel west of Route 17 that has been earmarked for the proposed full-service facility. When finished, it could even accommodate an emergency room — an amenity that Beebe officials had not been able to justify in the area until just recently, as development continues to thrive.
Beebe is currently raising funds for the facility and has devoted one of its signature events to the facility’s initiative. Eric Davidson, Beebe’s special events coordinator, said that the annual Thanksgiving Ball’s profits will benefit the Clarksville location for at least the next two years. The center usually brings in about $150,000 to $200,000 from the event.
“We get continued request from residents in that area to provide services,” Needham said in an earlier interview about the current facility. “Otherwise, they would be traveling quite a distance. It definitely meets the need.”