Breaking New Ground: First Settlement Physical Therapy, Orthopaedics to open Belpre center

Photo by Brett Dunlap Simon Hargus, DPT and owner of First Settlement Physical Therapy, talks with Ben Riha of the CESO architectural firm of Parkersburg and Aric Platt, vice president of DDC contractors of Dayton, about the design of the new Belpre Medical Center being built in Belpre at 2434 Richmiller Road near the Farson Street-Ohio 7 stoplight.

BELPRE — A new medical center being built in Belpre will be the new home for First Settlement Physical Therapy and First Settlement Orthopaedics.

Ground was broken this week on the new Belpre Medical Center at 2434 Richmiller Road near the Farson Street-Ohio 7 stoplight. The new complex is located across the highway from its current location, which will be demolished at the end of October, adjacent to the Belpre Medical Campus of Memorial Health System.

“A lot of the start of this was we needed a new home,” said Simon Hargus, DPT and owner of First Settlement Physical Therapy. “Our attempt was not just to find a new home, but let’s make a new center with better parking, easier access and more integrated specialty care with something that is new to the area.”

The Belpre Medical Center will be a brand new multi-million dollar, 33,000 square foot medical complex that will be bringing same day specialty care services to the Mid-Ohio Valley. The center will provide access to multiple medical specialties including orthopaedics, spine care, mental health and physical therapy.

“Patients are looking for faster access to quality specialty care when they are injured and we listened,” Hargus said. “We are building a state of the art medical facility that will address the needs of the community and provide access to the prompt care that the Mid-Ohio Valley deserves.”

Photo by Brett Dunlap Present at the groundbreaking ceremony last week were Cindy Miller; Elinor Norris; Tammy Miller; Belpre Mayor Mike Lorentz; Clint Welch, JD Executive Director of First Settlement Orthopedics; Karen Waller, Executive Director of the Belpre Chamber of Commerce; Simon Hargus, DPT and owner of First Settlement Physical Therapy; Greg Adams; Little Miss Belpre Shyanna Miller; Little Mr. Belpre Karter Fry; and Miss Belpre Kirsten Hannah.

When completed, the facility is expected to see 200-300 patients a day.

The building will employ around 75 employees from the Mid-Ohio Valley, including orthopaedic surgeons, spine surgeons, mental health professionals, nurses, X-Ray technicians, physical therapists and office staff.

“We are going to be bringing specialty services here that aren’t here,” Hargus said. “People will be able to get types of care that you have to wait 6-8 weeks and go to a big city for.”

Clint Welch, JD executive director of First Settlement Orthopaedic, said the Mid-Ohio Valley deserves a state-of-the-art facility that provides quality health care at a reasonable price.

“With what we will provide here, there will be no need for people to go out of the area to Columbus or Charleston,” he said.

Image Provided A technical drawing of the new Belpre Medical Center.

“Good quality health care can be given right here in the Mid-Ohio Valley.”

The facility will have four orthopaedic surgeons who will be there five days a week. They will have x-ray and MRI capabilities.

“With the shift in healthcare from volume to value, we felt now was the time to invest in a facility that would showcase our quality services right here in the Mid-Ohio valley,” Welch said. “Unlike the cookie-cutter approach used in larger urban areas, people should expect to receive excellent personalized healthcare that is more cost effective at the Belpre Medical Center.”

They have locations all over the region, including Marietta, Vienna, New Martinsville, Ripley, Spencer and elsewhere.

“We have multiple locations, but this will be our showcase facility,” Welch said. “We are very excited to be here.”

Photo by Brett Dunlap Work is underway at the new home of First Settlement Physical Therapy and First Settlement Orthopaedics, among other services.

The Belpre Medical Center sits on land previously owned by George Norris and Greg Adams.

“The whole concept could not have happened without the Norris family and Mr. Adams,” Hargus said.

The Norris family wanted the land to be used in a way that honored Mr. Norris’ community minded spirit.

“When we came to them, their only requisite was to build something Belpre would be proud of and Mr. Norris would be proud of,” Hargus said. “This building is dedicated to him and Mr. Adams.

“This is their families’ land. They are proud of what we are doing.”

Photo by Brett Dunlap Work continues on the new Belpre Medical Center, expected to open in early November. The 33,000 square foot medical complex will provide access to multiple medical specialties including orthopaedics, spine care, mental health and physical therapy.

One of the biggest issues facing the nation today is access to quality healthcare, Adams said.

He has had a long history with First Settlement Orthopaedic.

When He was 18 years old, Dr. Gregory Krivchenia Sr. took care of his right knee on his birthday. “It was the best gift I could have received,” Adams said. “20 years later, his son, Gregory Krivchenia II took care of my left knee and I’ve been great since.

“You see, I have a real history with them so I am honored to play a part in this project.”

Adams feel the new facility is going to help take care of not just Belpre but the entire Mid-Ohio Valley community in a better way that it’s ever been.

The new facility will also have better access for people to get in and out.

“Having our location at the stop light means people can find it easily and turn into the building safely,” said Dr. John Henry. “We will have plenty of parking and a warm welcoming facility for families. With the paradigm shift coming down the pike, we want to be a good steward of the healthcare dollar and prepare for the future.

Officials commended the City of Belpre for their help in keeping the project on track.

“The city could not have been more helpful to this whole project,” Hargus said. “We were under a tight timeline and from day one the City of Belpre has taken really good care of us.

“It has been a fantastic partnership with the city.”

Project manager Aric Platt of DDC praised the city for being so open and willing to help with their needs.

“Everyone is here to work together,” he said. “That is impressive and that does not happen everywhere. It is really special.

“We are happy to be part of the community.”

Belpre Mayor Mike Lorentz said the complex represents growth for the city.

“Anytime we can grab one of these shovels and break ground on a new business, you have to feel proud and honored to be a part of it,” he said. “To see this building being built here on a lot that has been vacant for many years, we are blessed.

“It will mean more jobs, more services and more opportunities for the city. “

Belpre Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Karen Waller said the complex represents a new direction for the city.

“We show that we can grow and do business here,” she said. “The biggest thing is jobs.”

They have been working towards something that can bring in a large number of jobs.

Local employers, outside of the industrial plants, on average employ around five to ten people. Belpre Medical is going to eventually employ over 75 people.

“That is a huge employer,” Waller said. “What this means will be an additional number of people here doing business. It contributes to the quality of life we have here.

“These are good paying jobs.”

The west side of Belpre is seeing a resurgence in new development.

“This end of town is beginning to develop like we always thought it would,” Waller said. “We are looking for new developments, a lot of which will be medical.

“Those are good jobs for people to come here and raise families. That is what we are looking for.”