Monday, Mar 11, 2024

Ballad Health completes emergency department renovations at Lonesome Pine Hospital, executes vision for Southwest Virginia

Lonesome Pine ribbon cutting photoBallad Health has made significant progress on a multi-year plan to enhance services for patients in Southwest Virginia by completing a renovation project for the emergency department at Lonesome Pine Hospital.

The $1.5 million investment included renovating 11 emergency department rooms and adding four new inpatient beds for medical-surgical use. Three of the rooms now have negative pressure capabilities, which are used for clinical isolation and designed to limit contagions from patients with infectious illnesses.

“We are extremely pleased with the results of this project,” said Shannon Showalter, chief executive officer for Ballad Health operations in Wise, Lee and Dickenson counties. “These enhancements elevate the physical space and signify Ballad Health’s dedication to providing state-of-the-art facilities for Southwest Virginia. This investment reflects our ongoing mission to deliver compassionate and efficient high-quality care, ensuring every patient who walks through our doors receives that care in a healing environment."

The project included redesigning the layout of the emergency department to enhance patient flow and visibility for caregivers and allocating new medication and linen areas. The new space will also improve access for emergency responders and provide a more modern, patient-friendly environment for the community.

“The open concept renovation for the emergency department is designed so doctors and nurses can see patient rooms within their line of sight, which will improve patient safety and satisfaction,” said Kellie Carter, RN, emergency department manager at Lonesome Pine.

“The open concept will also help with the flow of people within the emergency department. One of the biggest challenges in healthcare across the nation – including at Ballad Health – is emergency room wait times. This new layout will help decrease wait times because we have improved flow to patient rooms, so it's easier for clinicians to provide uninterrupted care.”

Additionally, the renovation project included an upgraded medical-surgical unit that provides a treatment model to allow for various stages of patient care, from admissions to discharge. The updates improve the unit’s function and flow to better accommodate patient needs and optimize results.

“This renovation project is a transformative leap in our emergency department’s capacity to deliver compassionate care,” said Cindy Elkins, administrator at Lonesome Pine. “These updates are not just about aesthetics; they embody our commitment to optimizing patient outcomes by enhancing function and flow. By aligning our physical space with the evolving needs of our patients, we’re better equipped to serve their needs and provide them with the highest standard of care.”

Ballad Health first announced its plans to invest in improvements at Lonesome Pine in late 2021, and construction began on the emergency department in 2022. The renovation project is the latest step Ballad Health has taken to improve healthcare in Southwest Virginia, following the 2021 re-opening of Lee County Community Hospital as a 10-bed modern critical access hospital, specifically designed to meet the needs of its community with 24/7 acute and emergency services, diagnostic radiology and lab services and extensive outpatient services.

The next stage of enhancements for Lonesome Pine will take approximately two years to complete. In this phase, Ballad Health will integrate more outpatient services into the hospital’s main campus, including its second and third floors. Those services include primary care, specialty care, behavioral health, laboratory services, sports medicine and physical therapy. The health system is also planning a wellness center during the next phase of construction in part of the hospital that is currently unoccupied.

“We want to be as responsive as possible to the evolving healthcare needs of the communities we serve,” said Showalter.

“Similar to the work we’ve done to maintain a rural hospital in Lee County and focus on the needs of its community, by integrating these services onto the main Lonesome Pine campus, we are aligning our facilities with the shifting dynamics of patient care. As we witness a decline in the demand for inpatient services and a growing trend toward outpatient care, this strategic move will optimize our resources and ensure we are delivering comprehensive and accessible healthcare tailored to the needs of this community.”

More information about Lonesome Pine Hospital is available at Information about Ballad Health Medical Associates in Wise County, including online appointment scheduling, is available at