BELPRE - Work continues to move forward on the Marietta Memorial Health Systems expansion of the Health Bridge Medical Park as the facility slowly opens in stages, a spokesperson said.
"Things are going very well," said Jennifer Offenberger, director of marketing and public relations for Memorial Health System, which includes both Selby and MMH. "We are looking to having the grand opening this summer."
The $12 million expansion is slightly behind the original schedule of being fully opened last November as the weather last year was not conducive to the planned construction and schedule.
The Marietta Memorial Heath Systems expansion of the Health Bridge Medical Park opened at the beginning of 2012 and will continue to open in stages, a spokesperson said. (Photo by Jolene Craig)
"As construction has gone on delays have occurred, which is normal for any plans," Offenberger said. "We have wanted to continue to maintain the timeline as much as possible."
The new Health Bridge Medical Park includes a 50,000-square-foot two-story building addition to the medical plaza that will house urgent care facilities, an expansion of the current Strecker Cancer Center and physicians' offices.
In November 2010 Memorial announced the $12 million expansion and broke ground for the facility later that month.
In January the first office started seeing patients with Dr. Dorai Rajan with a family practice opening. Dr. Milagros Lopez-Velez opened an endroconology office while Dr. Gary Tucker is expected to move his office from Parkersburg in March.
"There are now six physicians' offices open and construction is continuing in our outpatient diagnostics and physicians care outpatient facility through this month," Offenberger added.
When all is said and done, the facility will have specialists: thorasic and vascular surgeons and cardiologists, as well as all diagnostics: X-ray, MRI and ultrasound.
"Having all of these services available in one facility can mean a great deal to patients and physicians," Offenberger said. "Putting a wide variety of services under one roof means the best treatment available and allows for earlier diagnoses and treatment to being as soon as possible, which all means for better outcomes for the patients."
Offenberger said the hospital chose to expand the Belpre services because there is a need in that area of the county.
The decision to build a larger cancer center is because the current Belpre facility grows by about 400 new patients each year and the need continues to increase. This project is a partnership between the Memorial Health System and the PM Co., which purchased the land in the western area of Belpre.
During the groundbreaking ceremony in 2010, Pat Minnite Sr. with the PM Co. said his business set out to build a shopping complex in the area and when they heard MMH was looking into building a more complete southern campus, the marriage worked out.
Belpre Mayor Mike Lorentz said this project will change the footprint of Belpre. "I am very excited to see what this will mean for Belpre," he said. "This is the beginning of Belpre's future."