Inova Mount Vernon Hospital's newly renovated Emergency Department was hailed as "the hallmark of what this hospital does in meeting community needs."
That was the pronouncement from Susan Herbert, administrator, IMVH, as she initiated the ribbon-cutting ceremony last week before a crowd of hospital volunteers, staff, and public officials. "Emergency services are here 24/7. We treat all who come regardless of their ability to pay," she said.
Following her kick-off, U.S. Representative James P. Moran (D-8) said, "This is a real state-of-the-art facility. I'm very glad to see that Inova Mount Vernon hospital has made this commitment."
Joining Moran in praising the efforts of IMVH to upgrade its emergency facilities was Mount Vernon District Supervisor Gerald Hyland, who noted, "I have a long history of experience with the emergency department. The primary change is that now you go directly to treatment rather than doing all the paper work first."
In referring to the ongoing controversy between the citizenry and Inova Health Services pertaining to the hospital's future, Hyland said, "I have no doubt about the commitment of the people in this room to this hospital."
He also reaffirmed his commitment to maintaining the hospital in its present location and to maintaining and increasing its services by emphasizing the fact he recently became a member of IHS's Board. "I'm thrilled to be on the Inova Health System Board and hope to bring the visions of this community to that Board," he said.
That concern, to make sure the needs of the patients comes first, was echoed by Dr. Michael Shuster, medical director, Emergency Services, IMVH. "Our goal is to give good and competent care to everyone," he assured.
OVER THE PAST several years $900,000 has been donated to this project from individuals and business throughout the community, it was noted during the ceremony. "The hospital volunteers and auxiliary have given over $500,000," according to Piper Dankworth, director, IMVH Development.
The renovation includes a series of specialty service rooms such as chest pain rooms and a children's room. The latter has a floor-to-ceiling mural on one wall depicting sea life. Painted by local artist Anne Jacobs, who received special recognition during the ceremony, it is entitled "Under The Sea."
Dankworth acknowledged the particular contributions of benefactors William and Edith Berry as well as the hospital auxiliary, headed by Marion "Barney" Barnwell and former president Harriot Piper, to funding the renovation. She noted the ENT room will be named in honor of the Berrys.
IMVH's Emergency Department treats more than 26,000 patients a year, according to hospital records. The renovated facility has 10 private specialty treatment rooms compared with previously curtained off areas.
The two chest pain rooms enable a patient to be evaluated and monitored without necessarily being admitted. Each has a television and a recliner chair for a family member to stay with the patient, according to Beth Visioli, IHS media relations.
Other renovation additions include a "negative pressure room" designed to isolate contagious patients. These can be used to prevent the spread of a contagious disease within the hospital or to handle bioterrorism situations.
"The constant theme since I arrived here has been to fix the Emergency Department," Herbert emphasized in her opening remarks. "That is now accomplished."
After the various speeches, Herbert joined the dignitaries, volunteers, and staff in cutting the blue ceremonial ribbon to formally open the newly renovated facility.