Holzer To Open Emergency Care Facility In Meigs County

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Residents of Meigs County have been without an emergency medical facility since Veterans Memorial Hospital closed more than a decade ago, but that will be changing.

Holzer Health System announced this week that it will be opening an emergency care facility in Pomeroy in 2014.

"It's a big deal," said Perry Varnadoe, executive director of the Meigs County Economic Development Office. "This will bring (emergency) care back into the county."

Varnadoe said the Meigs County Community Improvement Corp. will be constructing the facility, estimated to cost $5.5 million, on a health care campus that already includes a Family Healthcare office and that also will be the location of Meigs County's new 911 center.

The CIC has been awarded a $250,000 grant from the State Appalachian Development Program for the project, but Varnadoe said the CIC will borrow the remainder of the money.

"It's that important to the community," he said.

Jim Phillippe, chief of hospital operations for Holzer Health System, said the new emergency care facility should be open by late spring 2014.

The facility will feature a 24-hour staffed emergency department, with general imaging and CT scan, laboratory, respiratory therapy and support services. There also will be a helipad.

As with other emergency rooms, most patients will be treated and released, Phillippe said. Those who require hospital admission will be transferred to Holzer Medical Center in Gallipolis or to another hospital, he said.

"EMS providers will have a reduced travel time and patients will be able to receive health care faster when seconds count most," said Brent Saunders, chairman of the board of Holzer Health System.