Shenandoah Memorial Prepares For Addition

Posted: July 7, 2014

HARRISONBURG — Shenandoah County’s lone hospital is preparing to grow.

Valley Health is lining up a bond issuance that would provide funding for a $17.9 million addition to Shenandoah Memorial Hospital.

A new emergency department and physicians offices would be housed in the building that would be connected to the hospital at 759 S. Main St. in Woodstock.

“We want to update our emergency room and provide improved office space for physicians,” Floyd Heater, the hospital’s president, said Wednesday. “This will give the community more of a one-stop place to go for their medical care.”

The new building would be located on the south end of the hospital campus, adjacent to the recently constructed Shenandoah Surgery Center, and would be accessible from Water and Main streets.

Construction, Heater said, is expected to start no later than the first quarter of 2015 and be completed in mid-2016.

Money for the three-story, 46,600-square-foot addition would come primarily from bond proceeds.

Valley Health, a nonprofit regional health care organization that operates four hospitals in Virginia and two in West Virginia, is seeking up to $67 million in bonds through the Winchester Economic Development Authority.

The bulk of that money — about $52 million — would be used to refinance bonds Valley Health leveraged in 2009, with the remaining $15 million used to build and equip the Shenandoah Memorial addition.

Winchester City Council is expected to approve the bond issuance Tuesday. Woodstock’s council voted unanimously last week to approve a concurring resolution allowing the bonds to be issued through Winchester’s EDA.

Heater said the final $2.9 million for the project is expected to come from reserves and a community fundraising effort to help equip the emergency department.

Opened in 1951 and acquired by Valley Health in 2002, the critical-access hospital has 25 beds.

When completed, Heater said the new emergency facility would be about 17,000 square feet, including an area for the quick treatment of minor injuries and illnesses.

It also would have a CT scanner, important equipment that Shenandoah Memorial now lacks in its emergency department.

But the biggest difference would be in its patient-care areas.

The new emergency facility would have 17 spots for patient treatment instead of the existing 12, and they would be separated by walls instead of curtains as is the case now.

“The current space lacks privacy tremendously,” Heater said. “The big driver for this has been the lack of privacy and the crowded conditions for our patients and caregivers.”

The extra space for emergency services is needed, he said, as the department’s use has grown 17 percent in the last three years.

The new second and third floors would be a mix of space occupied by Valley Health physicians — offices currently scattered around Woodstock — and offices available for lease. Surgical specialties would be on the second floor, with primary-care offices on the top floor.

If all goes as planned, Heater said he hopes the project will be put out to bid in the next couple of months.

Shenandoah Memorial’s expansion would mark Valley Health’s second major investment in hospitals at the southern end of its service area.

In May, a new Page Memorial Hospital opened in Luray. The 25-bed critical-access hospital cost $37 million to build.

Contact Vic Bradshaw at 574-6279 or vbradshaw@dnronline.com



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