Long Awaited Meigs ER To Open In A Few Days

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"This is a great example of making the impossible possible and making a dream a reality," said Meigs County Economic Development Director Perry Varnadoe at a reception marking the completion of the new Holzer emergency department in Meigs County. 

After years of driving out-of-county for emergency medical care, Meigs County residents will finally have the reality of having emergency care close to home. 

"We started out about three years ago working with the Meigs County Chamber of Commerce and Community Improvement Corporation to develop an emergency medical facility," said Greg Mickunas Medical Director of Emergency Services for Holzer Health System.

"They approached us with an idea of not just getting it done but making it the best. That commitment to excellence is something we are proud to be a part of," said Varnadoe. 

While the talks officially took off three years ago, work on bringing an emergency room back to Meigs County began soon after Veterans Memorial Hospital closed its doors a little more than 10 years ago. 

"This is a project that has been in the works since before I took office," said Rep. Debbie Phillips. "It's one of the first things that Meigs County Economic Development Officials and Commissioners talked to me about is the importance of bringing emergency facilities here."

"This is really a great day for Meigs County. It's one of the few days when you can come into an emergency room and smile and be happy," said Varnadoe. "The key thing is you can come in here today. This is something that has been a decade long process for our county."

Varnadoe spoke of the never-give-up effort and attitude of so many, including the Meigs County Community Improvement Corporation and the Meigs County Commissioners, to bring the project to where it is today.

"They are dreamers. They are doers. They persevere. They persist," he said.

"The building you are in today was impossible. And we know that because the folks in this room have been told many times, not by anybody here, that it was impossible to bring an emergency department back to Meigs County," stated Varnadoe.

He proceeded to give several examples of other things that Meigs County and its residents had been told were impossible, including the upgrades to Route 33, the Rio Grande campus at Rocksprings, new athletic facilities at Meigs and new a new school at Southern. 

"Maybe the best story is just out Route 7 to Tuppers Plains. There was a group of girls that wanted to be the best in Ohio at what they did. They were told that the best basketball teams in Ohio couldn't come from Meigs County — had to come from Cincinnati, Cleveland, Toledo — we all know how that turned out," he said.

The emergency department is the latest piece to be constructed in the Meigs Medical Complex. The complex now includes, in addition to the emergency department, the Robert E. Byer Emergency Operations Center, a helipad, and Hopewell Health Center. Plans are also being made to locate a base for MedFlight at the site. 

"Holzer, in partnership with multiple entities, has provided a nice platform for emergency services here but it's more than that. This is much more than a free standing emergency department, it's really a medical complex that Meigs County is receiving. That's just a really, really great thing," said Mickunas. 

"One thing that I learned playing football for a lot of years, if you don't play as one you will never make it. We are playing as one here in Meigs County and that is really important," said Meigs County Commissioner Mike Bartrum of the collaborative effort to bring the emergency department and medical complex to Meigs County. 

"This is a life-saver people in this community and it is just so exciting to see that the can do attitude here in Meigs County and the ability to keep pushing and keep pushing to get the resources needed and the regulatory hurdles cleared to bring this much needed facility. You all deserve a huge, huge, congratulations for getting something very important done to improve the quality of life here in Meigs County," said Phillips.

"In addition to this facility we will continue to operate the Holzer Meigs Outpatient clinic here in Pomeroy," said Brent Saunders, Chairman of the Board of Directors for Holzer Health System. "It's been a privilege to offer top quality care and that top quality care is given to you by your friends and neighbors right here at home"

The new 13,000 square foot facility will provide 24-hour emergency care. It includes eight treatment rooms, one double trauma room, two triage stations, along with lab, CT and radiology services. 

An official opening day has not yet been announced, but may be as early as the start of this week.