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Emergency care for kids in Huntersville getting supercharged, thanks to Martin Truex Jr. Foundation and racing community

Novant Health's Huntersville Medical Center broke ground on a new emergency services center for kids, to help fill a need for more pediatric care in a growing area.

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. — The theme outside Novant Health Huntersville Medical Center Friday was shovels and dirt, but next year, it will be pit stops, racetracks, and fast cars on the inside.

Ahead of a big NASCAR weekend, racing star Martin Truex, Jr., partner Sherry Pollex, and others from the racing community took the day to gear up for another important development for the Charlotte area--the groundbreaking on a new emergency center for kids in the Huntersville and Lake Norman area.

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"This has been a big project for us," Truex said. "And we've been working on it for a while."

"We've been working on this project for three years," Pollex said. "It's amazing to be here at the groundbreaking ceremony today."

Credit: Novant Health

Mike Riley, president and chief operating officer of Novant Health Huntersville Medical Center, notes that, as the Charlotte region grows, so does its need for health care services, especially for its littlest residents, and the new emergency center will fill an important need for that area of the community.

The Huntersville center sees 40,000 patients a year in its E.R., and 5,000 of them are kids.

"The community really needs a different level of care for our pediatric patients," Riley said, noting that medical emergencies can evoke anxiety for kids and their families. "When you're a little kid, all that's scary to you. So we're going to change the environment."

The new environment is set to help kids cruise to recovery in a place all their own. Renderings for the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation Children's Emergency Services inside Novant Health Huntersville Medical Center show fun racing murals and a special entrance and waiting room for kids and their families.

"It'll be kind of a fun atmosphere for the kids to come into," Truex said. "They come here in pain, and you want them to cheer up and be happy."

It's a $2.4 million investment made possible with the teaming up of Novant Health, the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation, and other community partners.

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"We are so honored to have been chosen by the Martin Truex Foundation and for them to use our hospital for this," Riley said. "They have such a passion for kids and for the Lake Norman community."

Novant Health reports that other top donors to the center include Auto-Owners Insurance, Ryan Blaney Family Foundation, Brad Keselowski's Checkered Flag Foundation, Vincent, Lisa and Vinnie Dailey, Gene Haas Foundation, Joe Gibbs Racing, Denny Hamlin Foundation, Daniel and Traci Hughes, Kasey Kahne Foundation, Haven Kiley Foundation, Dennis and Mary Lehman, Joey Logano Foundation, Metrolina Greenhouses, Evernham Family-Racing for a Reason Foundation, Tyler Reddick, Sokal Media Group, James R. Vannoy & Sons Construction Co. Inc., and the Jerry & Frances Warsky Foundation. 

The Martin Truex Jr. Foundation Children's Emergency Services is set to open in the second quarter of 2022.

Contact Vanessa Ruffes at vruffes@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram