Last Updated: Apr 27th, 2015 - 11:04:56

JRMC adding emergency center in Prince George
By Caitlin Davis, Senior Staff Writer
Apr 11, 2014, 13:46

CAITLIN DAVIS/HOPEWELL NEWS/NEWS-PATRIOT Though no official word has been given, a plot of land has been cleared near the proposed location of the new ER building for JRMC.
HOPEWELL — John Randolph Medical Center in Hopewell has been in the process of an ongoing project to improve and beautify the hospital. Currently, the hospital is in the midsts of a $1 million landscaping project and the announcement was made this week that JRMC plans to build a freestanding emergency department in Prince George County. 

The planned location will at the intersections of Whitehill Boulevard and Temple Avenue. The TriCities Emergency Center is expected to open in mid-2016 pending approval from the State Health Commissioner of CT imaging services. 

Suzanne Jackson, CEO of JRMC, is looking forward to the upcoming project, in which she anticipates hearing back about the application by the end of this year. 

“We’re really excited about it because it’s an opportunity for us to bring necessary service to more central to the region,” Jackson said following the announcement. 

The emergency department at the Hopewell location will remain open, Jackson assured. She said the other, planned location will just be an extension of the services provided at John Randolph Medical Center. 

There will be additional staff needed for the new location, which is estimated to be around 25 more employees. Jackson said the hospital is also in need of another CT scanner, of which she said the current scanner is performing “in excess of the state’s expansion standards.” The new scanner is projected to cost a little over $1 million. 

The current emergency room projections for JRMC are 38,000 visitors annually, and of the six hospitals in the HCA network in Central Virginia, the emergency room at JRMC is second in visitors to Chippenham Hospital. 

Though the proposed location of the freestanding emergency department will be surrounded by several other outpatient facilities, such as Better Med, Patient First and a pediatric facility and women’s health facility, Jackson said the emergency department will be an addition to the medical community growth that has begun in that area. 

“When I looked at where is the growth of what’s happening down in Prince George and Colonial Heights, that was a place that’s demonstrated and evidenced by all of the physician practices that have opened up right there in that same vicinity,” Jackson said. “That to me, is evidence that there is a new medical community.” 

Construction continues to the outside of JRMC where a new ambulance exit is being completed as well as a new outpatient entrance. The $1 million landscaping project is expected to be completed in May.
Jackson said as soon as the hospital receives approval for the project, the staff will sit down with architects and work through a vision of the new facility. She said this process will take about 18 to 24 months to complete. 

Plans for the TriCities Emergency Center also includes a dedicated pediatric entrance and waiting room, as well as a bariatric exam room. 

Upon Jackson’s arrival to JRMC last year, she has worked to continue to grow and expand and improve the services offered by the hospital. Currently, JRMC is undergoing a $1 million landscaping project. 

Phase one of the project has already been completed, which was the resurfacing of a portion of the parking lot and phase two is under way. 

Right now, the outpatient entrance to the hospital is being constructed and changed. Jackson said a separate ambulance exit will be created. 

“We’re creating a true patient drop-off roundabout with a large canopy that also I feel like, is a visual beautified piece,” Jackson said. “We’re not just going to have an awning. To me, it’s a piece of artwork.” 

In addition to the new construction, trees and flowers will be added to provide some color to the outside of the hospital, as Jackson says. A projected timeline of May has been set for completion of the project. 

“My hope is that I will then be able to continue around the rest of the hospital,” Jackson said. “... Once we do the outpatient, I will be starting to work on how to continue it through the whole permitter of the whole facility.” 

There is also work being completed inside the hospital. More recently, the third floor of the facility got a fresh coat of paint and new artwork hung on the walls. 

Another change will be coming in December of this year when the expanded behavioral health services will open at the new Wellness Pavilion, located adjacent to the hospital’s main campus.  The $3.5 million project of the second floor of the building, will include an expansion of services and more beds, with the number going from 24 to 40 beds. 

With the ribbon cut on the project earlier this year, the pavilion offers programs for outpatient behavioral health services, partial hospitalization, which includes a four-hour-a-day program and a more intensive, six-hour-a-day program, as well as group therapy and one-on-one meetings with therapists and behavioral health specialists. 

“It’s exciting. I think it’s definitely exciting,” Jackson said of all the upcoming additions to the JRMC facility. “... Our medical staff are feeling excited to be a part of really just transforming what health care can look like down here in the Tri-Cities.” 

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