Merger aids Page County medical projects

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Page Memorial Hospital (PMH) got a shot in the arm earlier this year when it merged with Winchester-based Valley Health. The alliance guarantees that the 51-year-old health organization in Luray will have the capital it needs to break ground on a new medical office building next spring and construct a new hospital by 2014.

“PMH has always done well, but we were at the point where we needed to address our brick-and-mortar facility,” says Travis Clark, the president of PMH. Clark says the projects will provide PMH with the capacity and equipment needed to handle an expanding population in Page County (estimated at 24,164 in 2008, up 4.3 percent from 2000).

The 14,000-square-foot, $3.5 million medical office facility is scheduled for completion by early 2011. It will house administrative offices and four to six doctors’ offices, including primary-care physicians and an ear, nose and throat specialist.

The medical building will be connected to the new hospital, which will grow from 58,000 square feet to about 70,000 square feet. The facility still will be a critical-access hospital with 25 in-patient beds, but it will be laid out to meet the needs of a more outpatient-driven health-care system. It will feature more specialty care, including additional general surgery capacity. “It will just be more staff-friendly, more patient-friendly in its design,” Clark says.

The alliance with Valley Health already has proved beneficial in other ways, Clark says. PMH is now able to offer residents access to on-site neurology and orthopedics specialties, nuclear medicine services and a planned diabetes management program. Officials also have set up a shared surgery model with two of PMH’s sister hospitals in Valley Health, Shenandoah Memorial Hospital in Woodstock and Warren Memorial Hospital in Front Royal.

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