VA Medical Center opens new emergency, wellness facilities

March 31, 2011|By RICHARD F. BELISLE |

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Two ribbons were cut at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center Thursday, officially opening the doors to an expanded emergency department and a 7,400-square-foot wellness center.

Both were part of nearly $17 million in major renovations and improvements completed in 2010 or under construction this year.

The hospital’s emergency department handles more than 13,000 patients a year, said Ann R. Brown, executive director of the 1,570-employee federal facility off W.Va. 9 near Martinsburg.

The new construction increases the number of examination rooms by three for a total of eight, adds two triage spaces, a dedicated decontamination room, a mental health observation room and a larger nursing station, waiting room and reception area, said Dr. James Mark Battin, chairman of primary services at the hospital.

The expansion cost $2.5 million.

Dr. Scott Wood, chairman of rehabilitation services, said a new building was constructed to house the new Heroes Health and Wellness Center. Features include a well-equipped workout room, indoor volleyball and basketball courts and a 20-lap indoor track.

It’s designed to provide services for all patients, including geriatric and those with disabilities, Wood said.

The new facility cost $2.7 million, he said.

Other recent improvement projects include the opening of the Martinsburg medical center’s seventh community-based outpatient clinic, this one at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Md.

It provides primary care, mental health services, physical exams chronic illness care, routine EKGs and X-rays and laboratory services.

The hospital’s mental health outpatient clinic moved to a new, larger space to expand those services.

According to Brown, more than 13,000 veterans entered the hospital in 2010 for services and treatment from 23 counties in West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania.

The 510-bed hospital is staffed with 110 physicians and 440 nurses, she said.

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