VCU Medical Center in New Kent to open doors on June 1
A freestanding emergency center in New Kent County will open its doors on June 1.
Representatives from Virginia Commonwealth University’s (VCU) Health System and New Kent County announced the opening of the VCU Health Emergency Center in New Kent through a press release.
“We are ready to safely and responsibly serve New Kent County residents with emergency care in the area where they live,” said Melinda Hancock, Chief Administrative and Financial Officer at VCU Health System. “COVID-19 will be with us for a long time, but medical emergencies have not stopped during the pandemic.”
Originally, the facility was supposed to open during early Spring of this year. But due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the opening was delayed as precaution and safety.
The process to bring an emergency center to New Kent has taken more than five years. Beginning in August 2015, Virginia’s Department of Health recommended denial of building the Level 2 Trauma Center facility in the county, citing that others were located 30 minutes away. That response upset county leaders, leading to then Delegate Chris Peace to get involved in the situation.
From that point, citizens from New Kent and nearby localities lobbied for the building, specifying distances to the nearest hospital. Research by Douglas R. Harris of the state health department had comments from adjudication officers that warranted the project due to the growth in the eastern portion of the Richmond Metropolitan area.
New Kent County Administrator Rodney Hathaway pushed forward with the submission, speaking with the Virginia Department of Health and continuing to follow up with the application. With Peace alongside to spearhead the movement, a certificate of public need for a Level 2 Trauma Center was granted by the Virginia Health Commission.
In 2017, the process of building the facility picked up steam. Permits were filed over a two-year period and on March 14, 2019, VCU announced plans to provide an emergency care center in the county.
Located on Pocahontas Trail in the Bottoms Bridge area of New Kent, the 17,000-square-foot facility will offer around-the-clock emergency care from board-certified medical physicians, emergency-trained registered nurses, laboratory services, and integrated technology.
New Kent County District 3 representative and board chairwoman Patricia Paige commented about the importance of having the emergency services within the county borders.
“The VCU Health Emergency Center will have a positive impact on the community and the lives of many of its residents by reducing travel time for emergency services,” she said in a press release. “In addition, it will help spur economic development growth within the county. We look forward to a long-lasting partnership with VCU into the future years.”
Precautions will be in place once the facility opens due to the outbreak of COVID-19. All those who enter will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms, patients that display them will be moved to designated areas, and all patients and VCU Health team members will be wearing masks.
The $16 million facility is located at 2495 Pocahontas Trail, Quinton, Virginia, approximately two miles from Exit 205 off Interstate 64.