Confronting COVID-19 Q&A Series: Why Methodist Charlton is Investing in Southern Dallas

Methodist Charlton President Fran Laukaitis provides insights on Methodist Health System’s $71 million emergency department expansion in Southern Dallas.

This Q&A is a part of an ongoing series of DRC interviews with representatives from our member organizations about how they are facing the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fran Laukaitis, President, Methodist Charlton

Q: What was the driving factor in the decision to invest $71 million into an expansion of the Methodist Charlton emergency room in Southern Dallas, which will nearly double its size?

A: Methodist Health System has been committed to the southern sector of Dallas for more than 90 years. This project continues that commitment to our patients in these communities, even at a time of great uncertainty. We are dealing with a virus we have never seen before, and yet in the middle of a pandemic, the Methodist Health System Board of Directors just approved a new emergency department for Methodist Charlton. That speaks volumes about Methodist’s mission and values.

Q: Why is this investment important to the community of Southern Dallas?

A: Methodist Charlton Medical Center has been in this community for 45 years and has really been the only hospital in this part of the southern sector for a long time. As these communities grow, our emergency department needs to grow, too. Methodist Charlton is number three in the Dallas Region for emergency department visits and number two in the number of ambulance visits per day. We have outgrown our space and desperately need more. With this new emergency department, we will be able to provide an enhanced experience for our patients. It’s very exciting.

Q: What upgrades and features are being added to the facility’s expansion that would help to efficiently combat a novel virus, such as today’s COVID-19, or a future pandemic?

A: Methodist Charlton is well-equipped right now to deal with a wide range of infectious diseases. Our staff is top notch, and we have made sure they have the equipment they need to treat patients. What our emergency department lacks is space. This investment will change that dramatically, doubling the size. Our great quality of care will not change, but we believe this new, bigger home will better improve the experience for our patients.