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Dearing Leads Effort to Establish BRMC

Bryan Dearing, CEO of two Fairfax County hospitals, is serving as CEO of a proposed hospital.

Born in an HCA hospital in Ronoake, meeting his wife in another and likewise seeing his four children born there, Bryan Dearing of Vienna considers himself destined to be a Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) employee.

"I simply like the way they operate their hospitals," said Dearing, 40, about what he describes as HCA's focus on patients, investment in the community and charity contributions.

Dearing was named June 1 as CEO of the proposed Broadlands Regional Medical Center (BRMC) in Loudoun. He will continue serving as CEO of Northern Virginia Community Hospital in Arlington and of Dominion Hospital, a 100-bed psychiatric hospital, in Falls Church until the Broadlands facility can open.

On July 1, HCA applied for a Certificate of Public Need (COPN) to open Broadlands as a 164-bed hospital on 58 acres near Ashburn. Broadlands would serve as a replacement facility for the two Northern Virginia hospitals if the Health Systems Agency (HSA) of Northern Virginia gives its approval. HSA denied HCA's application last year for 180 beds, a decision that HCA has since appealed.

HCA plans to continue operating the two Northern Virginia hospitals, which are in ill-repair, lack expansion room and are below capacity, as described in print material about the facility. Less than 50 percent of the 164 beds at Northern Virginia Community Hospital are in use.

"We want to relocate beds that we already have," said Lovettsville resident Megan Descutner, director of community and government relations for BRMC. "We are looking to move and relocate beds. They're looking to add beds," she said in reference to Loudoun Healthcare, Inc.'s request to HSA to open 33 licensed medical beds at the Western Loudoun Medical Center in Leesburg.

"This is the only location we're looking at," Dearing said.

DEARING ORIGINALLY did not plan to be a hospital administrator, but over time, he realized he wanted to work in the medical field and do something in management. In 1983, he earned a bachelor of arts degree in economics from the College of William and Mary. Four years later, he earned a masters of hospital administration from the Medical College of Virginia.

While in college, Dearing worked as an orderly during the summers at an HCA facility in Salem. "I didn't feel my forte was directly in patient care," he said. "I like health care as a field, but I didn't feel I was the one to deliver the care."

Dearing decided to work in hospital administration. He joined HCA in 1987, the year he graduated with his master's degree, to complete his administrative residency at Henrico Doctor's Hospital in Richmond. That year, he was appointed as assistant administrator of another HCA hospital in Nashville, Tenn. and oversaw the planning and design of its replacement facility.

In 1992, Dearing was named CEO of an HCA hospital in Martin, Tenn. Three years later, he returned to Nashville as CEO of the replacement hospital, Summit Medical Center. He stayed there until he was named CEO of the two Northern Virginia hospitals and of BRMC in June 2003.

Dearing sees several reasons to locate BRMC in Loudoun, including:

* Meeting the growth in the county. The county's population is expected to increase by 100,000 residents to 300,000 residents by 2010, two years after BRMC is proposed to open. At the same time, the county has a lower ratio of beds per 1,000 residents than the state, which is .7 beds in the county, compared to 2.9 beds statewide, Dearing said.

* Providing Loudoun residents with a choice and to encourage competition that would foster a higher level of service for patient care. BRMC wants to take care of the other 50 percent of Loudoun patients currently not served by Loudoun Hospital Center in Lansdowne and some of the new patients brought about by the expected growth, Dearing said.

IF BRMC is approved, Dearing plans to work with health care providers and community members to create "a state-of-the-art, patient-centered hospital that would be a community partner," he said. "Some Broadlands residents fear we would not be a good neighbor. We would involve them in the planning process to create a hospital that would be a good neighbor and [would] participate in community projects."

Dearing plans to encourage the staff — another 92 employees in addition to the 400 employees currently employed at Northern Virginia Community Hospital and Dominion Hospital — to join community organizations and civic groups. He plans to visit groups, organizations and town councils to present information about the proposed project.

"I'm on a circuit right now to get the word out. We may want to build a hospital, but it's to meet a need," Dearing said. "We feel that Loudoun County is under served and deserves a second hospital."

BRMC is estimated to cost $183 million for site and construction costs for a facility that would provide medical, cardiac and surgery care and include a 24-hour emergency room, pediatric care, psychiatric care for children and adolescents, and a women's center with 12 labor, delivery and postpartum suites.

"At this point, we will continue to fight for the right to build the hospital," Dearing said.

However, the COPN process does not recognize high growth areas, said Purcellville resident Frank Naylor, managing member of MWI Enterprises and consultant for HCA.

HSA considers the number of beds in a region before approving new beds and uses data that is one to two years old that is collected annually by the Virginia Hospital Information System, Naylor said. "We get compared to Fairfax and Arlington [counties] where you have dense population. The population numbers often lag behind what's going on the county," he said.

Descutner agreed. "The formula works for normal growth, not for exponential growth," she said.

Dearing and his wife of 20 years Mary Beth, a registered nurse and a home schooler, plan to move to Loudoun if BRMC opens.