UF Health North ER – and its medical director – ready to be part of North Jax community
Who do you appoint to open a brand new emergency room? Someone who’s done it before.
E. Jedd Roe, MD, MBA, medical director of the soon-to-open emergency room at the UF Health North medical complex in North Jacksonville, has led the successful opening and management of other emergency rooms in Michigan, Colorado, Oregon and Alabama.
On Feb. 17, Florida will be added to that list when UF Health North officially opens to the public. The medical facility’s 28-bed emergency room will feature:
- Two resuscitation rooms
- Six observation beds
- Four pediatric beds
Depending on demand, every bed in the ER can be used accommodate any type of patient as needed.
Roe declined to guess how many patients will turn up when the ER opens, but he said he suspects it will be busy even in its first weeks.
A few incidents already support his prediction: When the building construction team installed the emergency sign and tested the lights, someone showed up immediately seeking treatment. Another night, police were called after a man was seen knocking on the future ER’s doors.
Up until now, North Jacksonville residents had to travel 20 minutes into downtown Jacksonville to get to an ER. When UF Health North opens, for the first time the community will have top-quality emergency care just across the street from its busy River City Marketplace.
Roe and his team will have access to some of the most advanced imaging equipment available, including three computed tomography (CT) scanners; bedside ultrasound units; and a high-field open magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine. Open MRI allows patients to get the same quality image as a traditional MRI without having to go into the traditional enclosed, tunnel-like MRI machine, which can cause patients anxiety from claustrophobia.
An incredible 93 percent of the ER has access to natural light, giving it a unique, bright feel, harnessing the concept that light helps the body and mind heal. There will also be a dedicated laboratory on site for the ER to obtain test results quickly.
At the forefront of new techniques
With its close connection to the University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville, UF Health North will be at the forefront of new emergency medicine techniques.
Roe is especially pleased that the ER’s nurses and doctors will all be trained to use ultrasound to guide the placement of intravenous (IV) catheters for fluid administration or to obtain blood for laboratory testing. The technique uses ultrasound to locate a vein, which makes it easier to place the catheter, greatly decreasing the number of failed attempts to establish an IV, reducing the rate of infection, and allowing IVs to be administered to patients who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to receive them. For example, it will make the process of administering an IV even on a small child when necessary much more realistic.
After working in the UF Health Jacksonville ER for the past year, Roe said he’s “impressed with the quality and skills of the staff” and looking forward to working with the same caliber of employees in North Jacksonville.
Why a snow-loving skier came to work in Florida
Roe, an avid skier who grew up on a cattle ranch near Denver, Colorado, realizes it’s ironic that he’s come so far from home to work for UF Health. His interest in medicine actually started when he worked as a ski patrolman, providing emergency medical care to injured skiers on the slopes.
But there’s another side to him that’s right at home in Florida.
“I’ve been a sailor most of my life,” he explained. “My dad had a business chartering sailboats in the British Virgin Islands. Living at the beach and waking up to see the waves every morning suits me.”
Adventures in new places seem to suit Roe, too. He moved to New England to complete his undergraduate education at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Later, he went on to attend medical school at the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, Ireland, and did his residency in emergency medicine in Bakersfield, California.
Roe also has a background that makes him especially prepared for his new role: in addition to his emergency medicine expertise, he has a master’s degree in business administration and finance.
Roe said he’s excited about the opportunity to open the new ER in a brand new building.
“We’re starting with a blank slate,” he said. “Medicine is about relationships, and we have the opportunity to establish the right culture as soon as we open our doors.”
Roe also plans to build relationships with the community outside of the ER. He said he plans to speak about safety to local groups, schools and churches, and he’s already given educational talks to local emergency responders.
“I want to be a good partner with the community and a resource for whatever is needed,” he said.