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Ballad Health making progress on plans to improve and expand healthcare in Wise County

Friday, October 4, 2019

Ballad Health making progress on plans to improve and expand healthcare in Wise County

Wise County hospital leaders announced this week that Ballad Health is taking positive steps toward upgrading Wise County’s nationally-recognized inpatient rehabilitation services by investing in new, state-of-the-art space and equipment for the program at Mountain View Regional Hospital.

Ballad Health recently filed a letter of intent regarding the upgrade with the Virginia Department of Health, and it will be applying for a Certificate of Public Need in the coming weeks. If approved, the certificate will allow Ballad Health to move the inpatient rehab unit currently at Norton Community Hospital to an upgraded, dedicated space at Mountain View Regional Hospital. This move would make it possible to expand the capacity of this unit from 11 to 15 patient beds and add new technology and equipment that will create an even better experience for patients.

This step forward in expanding access to inpatient rehabilitation services was made possible, in part, by the Health Department’s recent approval of Ballad Health’s initial plan to strengthen healthcare safety and access in Wise County. To promote patient safety and create the space and opportunity for new services, Ballad Health has received the state’s permission to move inpatient and critical care services from Mountain View to Lonesome Pine Hospital and combine the two hospitals’ medical/surgical and ICU units. Emergency room services will also be integrated at Norton Community Hospital, and operation of the emergency room at Mountain View will cease.

“Receiving approval from the Virginia Department of Health to move forward with these plans is a first step on our journey to making healthcare better in Wise County,” said Mark Leonard, Ballad Health’s vice president and CEO for Wise and Dickenson counties. “Our vision is for Wise County to have three hospitals working together seamlessly to provide the best possible care and access for our community, and to ensure we are able to recruit and retain the best physicians and other healthcare professionals to serve our patients. We will continue to evolve our services to meet the needs of those we serve, and are excited to start by investing in our already excellent inpatient rehabilitation program.”

If approved, renovations at Mountain View will begin in 2020, with the move expected to take place in 2021.

Ballad Health is working to bring a number of new and enhanced services to the county in addition to the expansion of inpatient rehab, building on the high-quality services in skilled nursing and long-term care currently offered at Mountain View. Planned investments include introducing new behavioral health services and upgrading radiation oncology equipment in Norton.

As Ballad Health continues to evaluate how to best meet the needs of the community, additional changes will likely be necessary. Ballad Health remains committed to gathering input and feedback from the Wise County Visioning Advisory Committee, the community, physicians and team members along the way.

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