WARREN COUNTY, Va. (WDVM) — Although it’s far from finished, the new Warren Memorial Hospital passed a major milestone Thursday, as Valley Health held a topping off ceremony for the new facility.
Hospital and Valley Health staff, as well as local officials, construction workers, and donors signed the commemorative steel beam, before it was lifted up by a crane and fastened over the future threshold of the hospital. Staff say that even though the facility isn’t slated to open until early 2021, it’s exciting to see the campus’ debut.
“You know I came here 22 years ago and probably 15, 16, 17 years ago we started already wanting this kind of thing to happen,” said surgeon and Vice President of the Warren Memorial Hospital Dr. Bob Meltvedt. “But to actually be here and see it going up, it’s like crazy, it’s like overwhelming.”
The $100 million facility will replace the current hospital in the county, which was built in 1951, and will feature 36 private in-patient rooms, 18 emergency department rooms, six observation rooms, three operating rooms, two endoscopy and procedure rooms, as well as a cardiac cauterization lab.
Despite state of the art facilities, hospital president Floyd Heater says it will be a campus focused on healing, not just medical care. Thanks to underwriting by donors Christine and Fred Andreae, the 150-acre property will include walking trails open to the public.
“One stop shopping, if you will, to see their doctor or receive testing, or ambulatory surgery,” Heater said. “Also to hike the trails, as you heard earlier, there’s an opportunity for the community to come, recreate and relax.”
The signing also reminded attendees of the impact valley health has in the region.
“With the completion of the new Warren Memorial Hospital in 2021, Valley Health will have invested roughly a half a billion dollars to replace our hospitals and expand our facilities,” said Valley Health CEO and President Mark Merrill.
While the hospital isn’t expected to create new jobs, staff hope the new facility will help attract and retain talent in the county.
“We’re going to get new specialists that will now see a modern medical center to come to. We’re going to be able, I think, to recruit nurses better. Because right now we lose nurses to Haymarket, places like that. And Winchester, and you know quite frankly part of it’s the physical plant. It’s old,” said Meltvedt. “To have a beautiful place with natural light, inviting rooms and places to meet and places to work, yeah it’s going to be a game-changer I think for us and for our community.”