Preparing CMH for the Future
Hospital Unveils Exciting Expansion Projects
CMH officials and community leaders have been working for the past few months to finalize plans for this major expansion that will significantly advance health care for the area. The three projects will total $19 million.
Hospital officials describe it as the biggest expansion to the hospital since it opened in 1954, but one that is essential for CMH to continue to provide accredited and award-winning patient care. The estimated cost of construction of the new Surgery Center and Laboratory and the expansion of the Radiology area is $15 million. The Radiation Therapy addition is estimated at an additional $4 million.
Scott Burnette, CEO/President of Community Memorial Healthcenter, commented, “Technology has advanced significantly since the hospital was built 57 years ago. Maintaining state-of-the -art medical technology is critical to saving lives and providing advanced therapies. CMH must move forward with this project to have the necessary space and medical equipment in order to provide the services that our community deserves and expects.”
Construction of a new Surgery Center and Laboratory
A major feature of the upcoming project will be construction of a two-story surgery center which will provide a modern facility to house new surgical equipment, and position CMH for future surgical capabilities such as telemedicine. The new Surgery Center will have a comfortable, convenient waiting area for family and friends of patients as well as private consultation rooms for physicians to talk with families. Patient care and operational efficiency will be greatly enhanced with this additional space needed for this technology. Early designs also include convenient parking and easier access to the Surgery Center, which will also be a plus for patients and families.
With the acquisition of advanced laboratory technology, CMH diagnostic capabilities have increased significantly. A larger laboratory area, located on the second floor of the Surgery Center, will provide the additional space necessary to maintain accreditation requirements for space and ventilation, and to accommodate future technologies.
Expansion of the Radiology Department
Radiology is one of the most used medical services at primary care hospitals. The expansion will provide the space necessary to house the imaging technology that is needed for patient care and comfort. The area will be expanded so that all outpatient testing can be located together, improving efficiency and, more importantly, patient convenience.
The radiology expansion will provide the space to house the new, larger CT scanners of today and allow for a replacement of the MRI machine to be located inside the building versus a mobile unit. Both of these vitally important pieces of diagnostic equipment are due for replacement within the next two years. In addition, all other diagnostic services such as cardiac stress testing and echocardiography will be relocated to provide convenient patient access adjacent to the main lobby of the Healthcenter.
Addition of Radiation Therapy to the existing CMH Cancer Center
Pending approval from the State for a “Certificate of Public Need “application, CMH plans to add radiation therapy to its existing medical oncology services that are provided at the outpatient Cancer Center located on Lombardy Street in South Hill. Currently patients have to travel long distances daily for as long as six to eight weeks to receive radiation therapy. CMH will partner with the Medical College of Virginia’s Massey Cancer Center, part of the VCU Health System (VCUHS), to provide this service locally. The estimated cost of this addition is $4 million. CMH will contribute $2 million of the cost and MCV will contribute $2 million. A decision on the application will be made by the Virginia Commissioner of Health by November 7, 2011.
A capital campaign will kick off mid-September to help fund the project. A cabinet of community leaders has been formed to conduct the campaign to build community support for these advancements in health care. It is anticipated that construction of the radiation therapy facility will begin in spring of 2012, and the Surgery Center construction project is expected to begin in the fall of 2012.
Campaign Co-Chairs Cathy and Denny Hardee said, “This campaign will help propel our community hospital to new levels of excellence in patient care.” They remarked that they accepted the call to serve as co-chairs because they want to make a significant difference in their community by making immediate and lasting advancements in healthcare for their loved ones and neighbors.
“Our hospital has been successful, but now it is time for us to move from success to significance.” Denny remarked. “The community helped build our hospital, and the community must come forward and support this expansion. We have done it in the past, and we will do it again. Because it all comes back to us.”