BELPRE - The Marietta Memorial Health System held an open house at its newest location in Belpre Tuesday evening.
The open house for the campus located at 805 Farson St. was held from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday in the second of four planned buildings on the site.
The Memorial Health System is a nonprofit health system governed by a volunteer board of community members that are committed to providing comprehensive services that meet the needs of the region. It is comprised of a network of two hospitals, outpatient service sites, assisted and long-term care facilities and a retirement community.
Area residents gather Tuesday in the lobby of the Marietta Memorial Health System Belpre campus for an open house. (Photo by Mandi Cardosi)
Building Two - which was opened to visitors for Tuesday's tour - was developed by the PM Company and houses over 25,000 square feet of services for MMH. Members of the community and patients of the practicing doctors were able to get a feel for the new campus during the open house.
Steven Richards, a doctor and medical director for the Wound Care Center in Belpre, said he is thrilled with the collaboration of the MMH system. He said he took his practice from Parkersburg to Belpre after deciding he wanted to be part of the MMH group.
"It means immediate access to records and reports," Richards said of the health group. "The idea of collaborative medicine, not just communication, we're all sharing records- not just convenience or cost saving, it's also a safety thing."
Richards said he is excited to say residents have the kind of care the facility will offer so close to home.
"It's a national model but it's here," Richards said of the Belpre campus.
MMH President and CEO Scott Cantley said the new campus in Belpre has been operational for about six weeks, opening one office at a time.
"We're fully stocked now and ready to roll," he said. "The entire Belpre campus for us is about creating convenient access for the southern part of Washington County as well as Wood County - we're getting a tremendous response from Parkersburg and Belpre."
Another primary care doctor will be Chris Edmands, who said he has been practicing in Parkersburg about 10 years and was drawn to the Marietta Memorial system because of the way the health network runs.
"This gives me an opportunity to follow a different practice model," Edmands said. "Marietta is a system where the continuity between primary care and specialists is well organized."
Gloria Flesher is excited to be involved with the hyperbaric program for the Belpre campus. She said the location will have two hyberbaric nursing machines and she will run operations.
The machines will imitate an environment sending patients on a simulated dive about 30 feet below sea level. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is the medical use of oxygen at a level higher than atmospheric pressure. HBOT found early use in the treatment of decompression sickness, and has also shown great effectiveness in treating conditions such as gas gangrene and carbon monoxide poisoning.
The Belpre campus will also offer other specialized medicine services, including pain management, infusion therapy and internal medicine. A free-standing emergency department is also planned for 2014.