Harnett County's second hospital opened for business Friday, providing an alternative for residents who for decades relied on a local hospital built in the Depression era or had opted for hospital visits in Raleigh or Durham.
The Central Harnett Hospital in Lillington, about 30 miles south of Raleigh, is the county's first new hospital in 75 years. The hospital has 225 employees and 50 private beds with the option to expand to 150 beds.
Central Harnett Hospital's 24-hour emergency department has 13 treatment bays. The hospital has three operating rooms as well as diagnostics and laboratory services.
The $56 million facility, owned and operated by nonprofit Harnett Health, is the single largest capital project in Harnett County. Harnett Health also operates the 101-bed Betsy Johnson Hospital in Dunn, about 39 miles south of Raleigh. The organization employs more than 1,000 people in the county.