ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – LewisGale Regional Health System held a beam-signing ceremony Tuesday morning to celebrate progress on the construction of its standalone emergency room near Tanglewood Mall.
The freestanding emergency room will be the first of its kind in southwest Virginia. It's just one way LewisGale is working to expand its services.
Construction is underway to turn the nearly 10,000 square foot facility into a freestanding ER. Hospital leaders say it's a growing need in a community with an aging population.
"Over the last few years, we've seen over a 30 percent increase in emergency room services on very large numbers but our community isn't growing at that rate," LewisGale Regional Health System President Brian Baumgardner said.
It's just the latest way LewisGale is growing. Expansion is also in the works for the emergency department in Montgomery County. That's not all.
"A lot of our core services around cardiovascular medicine, oncology, those sorts of things, we're going to continue to maintain what we have and grow as well," Baumgardner said.
It's good news for people all throughout southwest Virginia.
"People expect great quality health care and we're very, very fortunate in the Roanoke Valley to have that and this is just one more enhancement to that service offering," Roanoke County Board of Supervisors Chairman Joe McNamara said.
The benefits go beyond just health care though.
"This is the first step really in our reimagined 419. It's right on the outskirts of what we're trying to do to create Roanoke County Main Street," McNamara said
It’s a big step for LewisGale leaders, who say they're not trying to be the biggest, just the best.
"Our goal is not to do everything for everybody. We would like to be able to do that, but it's really not realistic for us to do it. But the things that we do well, we want to do exceptionally well and be known for it," Baumgardner said.
They expect to open the standalone emergency room in December.