LewisGale breaks ground on new freestanding emergency room in underserved area Roanoke County

The new center will create more than 30 jobs

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – Expanded emergency care is coming to the Roanoke Valley.

“If you’ve had the experience of going to any emergency department, you know that they’re very busy, very crowded so we just need more emergency care beds,” said Dr. Steve Pasternak, emergency department medical director for LewisGale Medical Center.

LewisGale is working to solve that problem with the Blue Hills ER, which is now officially under construction.

The nearly 10,000 square foot freestanding emergency room will be open 24/7, offering all necessary services like private treatment rooms, on-site labs, CT capabilities, digital ultrasound and diagnostic x-rays.

“It’s almost like you just cut it away from the hospital and moved it here,” Pasternak said.

The location of the new standalone emergency room is critical, right along the busy Route 460 corridor, in an area that’s underserved when it comes to medical services and only growing.

“That 15 minutes could mean the difference between life and death,” said Jason Peters, chairman of the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors.

Peters is also a first responder who sees the impact of having no nearby emergency care firsthand.

“Getting those life-saving drugs for a stroke or getting ready for the catheterization or whatever is needed, the minutes do count,” Peters said.

The new center will also free up space in other area emergency rooms, making wait times shorter across the Roanoke Valley.

The impact stretches beyond emergencies to the economy. Route 460 is becoming a major commercial corridor where even more growth is expected over the next decade.

The new center will create more than 30 jobs and is expected to open in January.

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Jessica anchors 10 News on Saturdays and Sundays at 6 and 11 p.m. You can also catch her reporting during the week.

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