PENNINGTON GAP, Va.– Lee Regional Medical Center, which has improved the lives of patients in Lee County and surrounding communities in Virginia and Kentucky for more than 70 years, is further enhancing care with a renovation and expansion of its emergency department.
The hospital is doubling the size of its emergency department from 2,697 square feet to 5,451 square feet, including a new 970 square feet of space added to the building. The number of beds will increase from 10 to 13. Greatly enhancing patient privacy, Lee Regional is increasing the number of rooms from four to 11.
Other amenities in the project include a new waiting room, canopies, a decontamination shower, a more efficient nurse's station, space for emergency medical services personnel and a new security office.
The project, which includes additional amenities for patients and caregivers, represents a $1.8 million investment in Pennington Gap and Lee County. Work is expected to be finished by the end of the year.
"All of us at Lee Regional are enthused about this wonderful opportunity to enhance the healing environment for our patients and their families," said Ron Prewitt, the hospital's president. "We're thankful for the support we have received from the communities we serve and look forward to offering additional comfort and service to those who entrust their care to us."
A groundbreaking was held Tuesday, March 22, at Lee Regional to celebrate the start of the project.
The 13 rooms that will comprise the emergency department consist of nine private exam rooms, a semi-private exam room and a critical care room. Construction will provide a more efficient layout of the nurse's station so caregivers will have improved sight lines to patients and increased sensitivity to patient privacy
Patients will have quick access to three check-in booths and two new triage rooms that will provide for a smooth continuum of care in the emergency department.
"Another element that will be of great benefit is the construction of separate canopies for the ambulance and public entrances to the emergency department," Prewitt said. "This will provide an extra layer of safety to patients and their families and more efficient work flow for caregivers."
During construction, patients and their families might encounter signs of construction, such as noise and dust.
"We are sorry for any inconvenience this might cause, but know that everyone who comes to the emergency department will be pleased with the results," Prewitt said. "It reinforces our commitment not only to patients and their families, but to the larger community as well."
Lee Regional is a 70-bed hospital that offers compassionate care in a number of general and specialty services. In addition to emergency care, they include general surgery, wound care, radiology, sleep lab and clinics for cardiology, pulmonary, obstetrics and ear, nose and throat care. Other services offered include calcium scoring, stress testing, laparoscopic surgeries and endoscopies.
The hospital is also a major player in the development of telemedicine to bring specialty care to patients in Lee Regional's service area. Telemedicine enables patients and physicians at Lee Regional to consult with a physician at another Wellmont Health System hospital without having to travel long distances.
"Lee Regional is a jewel that provides superior care for the folks of Lee County, other portions of Southwest Virginia and Eastern Kentucky," said David Brash, regional vice president for Wellmont's Mountain Region. "We are humbled that so many people choose us for their care and consider it a privilege to serve them.
"This emergency department renovation and expansion will position Lee Regional excellently to treat those who need our services well into the future."
This is an artist's rendering of the new view of the exterior of the emergency department at Lee Regional Medical Center.
Cutline for attached photo: Doctors and nurses of the emergency department of Lee Regional Medical Center break ground Tuesday, March 22, on the expansion and renovation of the department.
Additional photos are available by request.