RIPLEY — Elected officials, locals and hospital staff gathered at Jackson General Hospital in Jackson County on Friday to witness a groundbreaking ceremony for a new hospital wing.
“This construction project has been in progress for the past several years and today is truly a historic event. said Stephanie McCoy, president and CEO of WVU Medicine JGH.
McCoy said how proud she was to share their vision for modern healthcare on Friday. She said the vision would not have been possible without the forward thinking, selfless determination and dogged persistence of the JGH Board of Directors and the JGH leadership and care team.
“We embarked on a journey to join West Virginia University Health System in 2018 and since then have been on a great journey to not only be a great place to care within a world-class healthcare network, but also for being a great place to work,” she said. “We joined with a partner who shared our vision for excellence in patient care, shared our desire to be the healthcare provider of choice for our community and shared our vision to modernize our hospital.”
McCoy said the first floor of the new wing was designed to include a new emergency department with 14 private rooms, which include two triage rooms, two trauma rooms, a decontamination room and a mental health room. It will also include a new 12-bay surgical department, with two large operating suites and two procedure rooms. The second floor features bunk/swing beds and has 18 private rooms with private bathrooms, an infusion area with three chairs, and a recovery room.
Rob Fisher, chairman of the JGH Board of Directors, has served on the board for more than 30 years and has been chairman for the past eight. Fisher said the JGH board came up with a 50-year plan to continue caring for its patients and the community. The board’s plan was to make sure it had a steady stream of providers, make sure it was financially viable and solve the problem of a “shot” the hospital. Fisher said the plan led to a merger with WVU Medicine.
“Today we’re going to put some shovels in that ground and start putting in this new $30 million wing.” he said. “This is really a big deal for Jackson County. This guarantees that there will be a hospital in 50 years…”
Carl Overmiller, MD, JGH medical staff, has worked at the hospital since 2010. He said the merger has given JGH new opportunities and services it didn’t have access to before. He said medical students now video-conference with the WVU Department of Surgery to see their mortality, morbidity and grand rounds. He said their computer systems have been upgraded, giving them access to more medical records, specialists and telemedicine, among other improvements.
Albert L. Wright Jr., president and CEO of WVU Health System, has worked with WVU Medicine since August 2014. He said that over the past eight years WVU Medicine has made two major accomplishments, increasing the size and reach of the medical center. its academic medical center and transforming that academic medical center into an academic health system.
“So what we’ve done, deliberately, methodically, over the last eight years, is partner with community hospitals across the state to create a population health footprint that allows us to simultaneously stabilize health care and local communities, hopefully improve care health in those local communities and build that network — so wherever you go to any WVU medicine, physician clinic, urgent care, small hospital, medium hospital, large hospital, your records, your labs, your prescriptions, your imaging , the doctor’s progress notes, they all follow you wherever you go” he said. “We have safer care, we have more coordinated care, we have more efficient care..”
The $30 million project will be funded through a combination of cash reserves and bond financing, according to a news release from WVU Medicine. Construction will take 16-20 months but will depend on materials/work.
James Dobbs can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.