Officials cut the ribbon at the new VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill.

VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital cuts ribbon on new facility

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Virginia Commonwealth University and VCU Health leadership cut the ribbon Oct. 14 for the new VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill. The new building is the first medical facility erected in South Hill since 1954.

Leadership from VCU, VCU Health and VCU Health CMH attended the event, along with members of the public, to see the new, state-of-the-art, 167,000-square-foot facility for the first time. More than 500 people were in attendance to view the ceremonial ribbon cutting and nearly 1,500 members of the community toured the facility throughout the day during an open house. 

Wayne Parrish, chair of the VCU Health CMH Board of Directors, spoke at the event, saying he was enthused by the end result of CMH. 

“Two years ago on a warm October day I stood before you and sang a song ‘a beautiful morning, a beautiful day and a wonderful feeling.’ I won’t sing today but I will share this seed that was planted that day — a certified seed, that states 100 percent germination with a maturity date of October 2017 right on schedule,” he said. “These are the people that made it happen: DPR Construction, JLL and the Smithgroup JJR. Today, we are here to see that this seed has grown, with God’s help, into the beautiful structure before us.” 

The new facility will open Nov. 11, with the obstetrics department opening Nov. 20. Within the building are 70 private patient rooms, three operating room suites, a cesarean section suite, a 16-bay emergency department and an obstetrics department with four labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum rooms.  

“Over the last two years I have been talking about the new era of health care for this region. The facilities you see before you are the physical manifestations of the beginning of that era,” he said. “Through this site, and in partnership with VCU Medical Center, MCV Physicians and the many other divisions of VCU Health, we will be able to deliver an integrated, multi-discipline model of health care … to the citizens of southern Virginia and northern North Carolina.”

VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital Opening

Michael Rao, Ph.D., president of VCU and VCU Health System, said the new building is a standard for community hospitals. 

“This is a really important day because we will be able to save and improve lives that we could not have touched in the same way without this facility, and without all these great people that will fill this facility,” he said. 

Marsha Rappley, M.D., CEO of VCU Health System and vice president for VCU health sciences, was among senior leadership who helped cut the ceremonial yellow ribbon. Like Burnette, she described the new building as a cohesive combination of services. 

“This is a joining of two institutions that share a very important value, and that is a dedication to be here when you need us, getting the right care to the right person in the right place and doing it at the right time, and that’s the future of medicine,” she said. “The future is not going to be about people traveling long distances if they don’t have to.” 

Deborah Davis, CEO of VCU Health System Hospitals and Clinics, said the environment serves as “integrated care” to promote health and healing. 

“What we’re celebrating is not only a building, but the commitment the people of this community have to make sure that quality health care is being provided locally and in facilities that warrant and support the team members providing it,” she said. 

Linda Powers, M.D., is the VCU Health CMH chief of staff and promised “the best medical care we can [offer] for patients.” 

Burnette said the new hospital will become a health care destination for the region. The new facility also includes a permanent cardiac catheterization lab to provide the most advanced cardiac care in the region and a full complement of diagnostic services including MRI, CT, nuclear medicine, cardiac, vascular and pulmonary studies. 

“Our affiliation brought together two organizations that have had a history of and continued passion for quality and patient safety,” Burnette said. “Combining that commitment with state-of-the-art facilities and technology will allow for a level of service that will truly set VCU Health CMH apart from any other hospital in this region and perhaps the state.”