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Ballad Health to open new Lee County urgent care center Oct. 9, 2019
Health system on track for reopening Lee County Community Hospital in fall of 2020
As part of its effort to bring much-needed healthcare services back to Lee County, Ballad Health will begin caring for patients at its new urgent care center on Oct. 9.
The new Ballad Health Medical Associates Urgent Care Center, located adjacent to the hospital at 127 Healthcare Drive, Suite 3, will provide Lee County residents immediate access to care in the interim, as Ballad Health and the Lee County Hospital Authority work toward opening Lee County Community Hospital in the fall of 2020.
“Our biggest goal remains opening Lee County Community Hospital, but in the meantime, we’re excited this new urgent care center will immediately be able to care for more Lee County community members close to home,” said Monty McLaurin, vice president for Ballad Health.
“This urgent care center will not only increase access to physicians in the area, it will expand the hours and days of services offered on both weekdays and weekends.”
The new urgent care center will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and will treat patients of all ages with minor injuries and illnesses, like the cold and flu, sinus infections, strep throat, sprains, minor fractures and more. It will also have on-site X-ray and lab capabilities.
The 1,239 square-foot facility, located in the medical office building near the future home of the hospital, will employ eight full-time employees, including physicians, nurses and radiologic technologists. While staff will provide care for a wide variety of conditions, they will be prepared to transfer patients who need a higher level of care to another appropriate facility.
Once the Lee County Community Hospital opens, all staff and equipment at the urgent care center will be relocated to the emergency department within the new hospital, where the same providers will offer even more services.
“We believe the opening of this urgent care center is a significant step in our journey to return important healthcare services to Lee County, and we’re extremely appreciative of Ballad Health’s work to bring a hospital back to Lee County,” said Ronnie Montgomery, chairman of the Lee County Hospital Authority.
While more than 100 rural hospitals across the nation have closed since 2010, Ballad Health bucked that trend in January 2019 when its board of directors voted unanimously to start negotiating with the Lee County Hospital Authority to reopen the rural Southwest Virginia hospital, which had closed in 2013.
On September 23, the Lee County Hospital Authority voted unanimously to approve the definitive agreement with Ballad Health, which allows the next steps leading to the opening of what will be known as Lee County Community Hospital. The hospital is expected to open in the fall of 2020.
“Because of the merger, we’ve not only kept our rural hospitals open, we now have the ability to do things like reopen the hospital in Lee County,” said Alan Levine, chief executive officer and executive chairman of Ballad Health.
“This is one of the many explicit benefits of our merger. We have the capacity to sustain our rural hospitals through the elimination of costly duplicative services and administrative overhead.”
In the months since the vote, Ballad Health has worked in conjunction with a group of 20 local Lee County residents who serve on the Community Advisory Committee to complete a Community Health Needs Assessment to better understand what types of services were most needed in the area. That assessment was reviewed and approved by the Lee County Hospital Authority at its meeting on September 17.
Ballad Health is currently in the process of applying to the Virginia Department of Health and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid to get the hospital designated as a Critical Access Hospital.