PUBLICATION: Daily News-Record (Harrisonburg, VA)
SECTION: News (Local)

DATE: August 7, 2014

Construction crews have started putting up steel for the Sentara RMH Orthopedics Center and Advanced Imaging Services building.

The 52,000-square-foot facility is being built between the Sentara RMH Funkhouser Women’s Health Center and Port Republic Road.  The project’s budget is $17 million.

Lantz Construction of Broadway is the general contractor for the project, which is expected to be completed in the winter of 2015-16.

When it’s completed, the structure will house the hospital’s orthopedics, spine, sports medicine, rehabilitation and outpatient advanced imaging services.

Those services are now provided in the main hospital building or at the Sentara RMH Wellness Center.

“With our growth in orthopedics and other programs, the community needed a destination center,” said Adam Drumm, the hospital’s director of orthopedics, spine, sports medicine and rehabilitation services.

Having a dedicated facility for those services will be advantageous for both doctors and patients, officials say.

The single location will help physicians communicate and coordinate patient care during rehabilitation, Drumm said, and patients won’t need to bounce between sites for different types of appointments.

Furthermore, he said, those needing outpatient imaging services won’t be subject to the rescheduling sometimes required when a trauma patient arrives at the hospital and must be taken first.

“Research shows orthopedics are one of the fastest-growing service lines,” said Katrina Lintz, data analyst and special projects coordinator for the hospital. “Adding advanced imaging and rehab services in the same building is not only a physician satisfier, but a patient satisfier.”

The building, she added, can be expanded as needed.

Just moving into the new space will present opportunities to provide more health care options.

Eight physicians and four physician assistants are in place to cover orthopedics, spine, pain and sports medicine services, Drumm said, but more specialists might be added.

“We’re hoping to bring some new services to this building,” he said, “such as a hand surgeon.”

When the new building opens, the shift in services will provide opportunities for change at both the main building and the wellness center.

Lintz said Sentara RMH physicians based elsewhere in the community, as well as new hires, likely will move into the space being vacated in the hospital.

Moving rehabilitation patients out of the wellness center will allow locker rooms to be expanded and studio space to be added to provide more diverse classes and programs, hospital spokeswoman Debra Thompson said.

Soil from the construction site is being used to build a roadbed toward Boyers Road to improve access to the back section of the campus for maintenance purposes, she added. Hospital officials have no plans to provide a public entrance from Boyers Road.

Contact Vic Bradshaw at 574-6279 or