by Tim Thornton
LewisGale Physicians now operates a clinic at The Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center (CRC) in Blacksburg.
The clinic is part of a plan to enable small businesses based at the CRC to offer the kind of health and wellness benefits usually limited to large companies. Those benefits, CRC President Joe Meredith says, will make the CRC even more attractive to innovative companies.
“What we were looking for was a comprehensive wellness program with a parenthetical sickness program,” Meredith says. “The doctor’s office was just a small part of it.”
The office, staffed by a nurse practitioner, offers same day and walk-in appointments from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The CRC already offered tenants child care, catering, a fitness center, an amphitheater, an airport, introductions to potential investors, and bus passes, among other services and amenities.
Scott Hill, the CEO of Blacksburg’s LewisGale Hospital Montgomery, says his company already has a relationship with the Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine and other CRC tenants, but the clinic strengthens that connection.
“Certainly the partnership with the CRC is an amazing opportunity for us,” Hill says. “They have grown into quite a powerful organization with their growth and expansion.”
The Association of University Research Parks’ choice for Outstanding Research/Science Park in 2010, the CRC has nearly a million square feet under roof on 120 acres. Plans call for 18 more buildings and room for roughly 3,000 more employees.
“A lot of people who work in the Corporate Research Center, based on my knowledge, are people who spend a lot of time at their desks,” Hill says, “hardworking people that have new projects and are doing a lot of research. So it’s very difficult for them to pull themselves away to go to a doctor.”
But the 2,200 employees at the center’s 140 businesses aren’t the clinic’s only target market. “The clinic is not just for the CRC,” Hill says. “It’s a clinic that’s open and available to the general public. It’s not far from downtown. It’s not far from a lot of the residential areas that surround Virginia Tech, and also, it’s very close to Virginia Tech and the student and the faculty population there.
“We view this clinic as an extension of our primary care network in the New River Valley. We’ve developed a really nice primary care network over the last five years here, not just in Montgomery County, but the New River Valley as a whole.”
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