Arrington / Colleen
Nelson County, Virginia
The Blue Ridge Medical Center will open a new, 28,600 square foot medical facility on Tuesday, Dec. 20, adjacent to its existing building on U.S. 29 in Colleen, midway between Lynchburg and Charlottesville. “The new facility enables BRMC to better serve the growing numbers of patients and will add needed services to accommodate the medical needs in the surrounding communities,” said Peggy Whitehead, executive director.
The new facility will increase the number of exam rooms from the current 13 to 21. The exam rooms will be organized into a system of “pods” to improve patient flow and allow more patients to be seen more efficiently with a better quality of care, Whitehead said. The lobby will seat more patients and include a section designed for children. Improved layout will improve privacy for registration, check-out, and other patient services.
Click on the video above to learn more about the history and expansion of BRMC in Arrington, VA
The pharmacy will expand to provide more inventory and work space, improved efficiency and security, and increased office space for the Medication Assistance Program, Whitehead said. Telemedicine services currently offered will expand and pediatric services will be added.
The existing 8,000 square foot facility will be renovated to house a new six operatory dental clinic, and the Rural Health Outreach Program’s Nelson Office, which is currently located in Lovingston, Whitehead said. The reconstructed building will also provide needed space for training patients and staff. Reconstruction of the existing building is scheduled to begin in early 2012 and completion is scheduled for summer 2012.“BRMC staff and board members have been planning and dreaming for years to bring this expansion to our community. We are grateful to people in the community who have participated in focus groups, the Stakeholder’s Advisory Committee and Management Team, and the Capital Campaign Advisory Committee. Community input has been essential to designing the expansion to specifically address needs in our service area,” said Whitehead.
According to Whitehead, both Nelson and Amherst Counties are federally designated “medically underserved areas” (MUAs). BRMC’s service area exhibits higher rates of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes compared to other areas of Virginia. Health literacy is an issue for the 25 percent of service area adults who did not complete high school. There are no hospitals in Nelson or Amherst Counties, and no providers in Amherst County accepting new Medicaid patients., Currently, there are no pediatricians operating in Nelson County.
BRMC is a Federally-Qualified Health Center overseen by a volunteer Board of Directors, most of whom are patients of the center. Its mission is to “provide quality health care accessible to all people of Nelson County and neighboring communities; and to improve their general health and well-being through prevention, education, and treatment.” The center opened in 1985 with one doctor and three support staff and has operated continuously for the past 26 years. Today, BRMC has over 80 staff members, including 10 medical care providers. It maintains over 18,000 patient records and provided medical care to nearly 2,200 new patients during the past two years.
The ongoing BRMC expansion is part of the 20-year Strategic Plan of the BRMC Board of Directors. Funding for the project has been provided by federal, state, and private foundation grants, as well as contributions and pledges from a large number of community members. Working with plans designed and engineered by Daggett and Grigg Architects, C.L Lewis served as the general contractor for the new building. Pohl Consulting, LLC is serving as the owner’s representative and project manager. The process of selecting a general contractor for the second phase reconstruction of the existing building is currently underway.
An open house will be held on Wednesday – December 14th from 4PM until 6PM .