Northwest Florida Community Hospital

Two new trauma rooms, a cardiac facility and a decontamination center are just a few features in the Northwest Florida Community Hospital's new emergency department.

The hospital’s administrator, along with elected officials broke ground Thursday on the $1 million facility. It will replace the current emergency room that dates back to the 1950's.

The new addition will have a centralized nursing and physicians station, allowing all rooms and patients to be observed at all times.

After receiving the hospital deed from the Washington County Commission a little more than a month-ago, this is the first step toward modernization.

Management hopes the effort will keep local patients from traveling to hospitals in nearby Panama City and Dothan.