LewisGale Montgomery unveils ER enhancements and new robotic da Vinci surgical system

Alexa Doiron

LewisGale Montgomery Hospital had a ribbon-cutting ceremony to present the $6 million new renovations and additions. Members of the board and the staff spoke about improvements to the ER, Surgical Department, and Progressive Care Unit.

LewisGale Montgomery Hospital held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday to celebrate the completion of more than $6 million in hospital infrastructure improvements. The project was announced last fall and completed in a quick amount of time, thanks to the dedication of those working on the project said CEO and President, Alan Fabian.

The new renovations and additions include an investment of over $1 million in enhancements to the hospital’s Surgical Department, $3 million toward the installation of a new energy management system, renovations to the Progressive Care Unit, two new digital X-rays, and additional security system enhancements.

One of the additions to the Surgical Department is the new da Vinci robotic surgical system. The da Vinci robot combines computer and robotic technologies to treat a range of conditions with a minimally invasive approach. The machine makes tiny incisions, smaller than those made in traditional surgery, and uses miniature instruments combined with a high-definition 3D camera.

“With the introduction of the da Vinci robot, patients have an alternative to traditional robotic services,” said Fabian. “That alternative provides a faster recovery, less pain, and a shorter period of physical restrictions as compared to an open procedure or traditional macroscopic procedure.”

The installation of a new energy management system in the hospital will also help with the quality of patient care by controlling heating and air-conditioning with greater efficacy. This new system will be particularly helpful in the Operating Room because it provides alarms that signal when temperature and humidity are out of range.

These new additions place the LewisGale Montgomery Hospital will help to provide more jobs and better services to the community, Blacksburg Mayor Ron Rordam said.

“This hospital really does serve all of us, it serves the region,” Rordam said. “The impact of having Lewis Gale Montgomery here is immense. It is so important to our economy, to our tax bases, and to our citizens who work here.”

Da Vinci robotic surgery has come to LewisGale Montgomery Hospital as part of their $6 million in renovations and additions to the facility. The robot offers a less invasive form of surgery, which allows significantly less pain and a shorter hospital stay for patients.

Rordam recalled his time in the area when the hospital was smaller and fewer doctors were available to New River Valley citizens. With the growth of the hospital, Rordam said that the community will benefit by bringing in more services than ever before.

“I think that what always strikes me most about this operation is its heart,” he said. “And the hear that has been here for so long. And the history many of us who have lived in the area have with LewisGale.” Rordam reminisced about the birth of his own children in this hospital as well as a time he spent in the ER with his son after a car accident.

Emergency Room Department Director, Julie Mcelwee, gave tours displaying the various improvements to the ER and Surgical Departments at LewisGale Montgomery Hospital.

Many of the employees for LewisGale had praise for the ER facilities and the new improvements. The hospital has expanded the triage area, which is where patients are first assessed. In this expansion, a new Super Track area was put in place so that patients with non-emergent conditions can be treated quickly, instead of being taken to the back along with emergency cases.

“As soon as we start moving you to the back, we start increasing your time,” said Julie Mcelwee, Emergency Room Department Director. “If we can keep you up front and get something taken care of right away because we have a provider up front, we decrease your overall length of stay. And that’s really our goal: how can we take care of you efficiently, figure out what’s wrong with you and then determine our plan to get you to the next destination.”

The ER is the first place a patient enters usually when coming to the hospital, said LewisGale Emergency Department Director, Dr. Ed Sciullo. Going from 15 to 19 individual emergency rooms makes a large impact on the wait time of the patients and family, which means there will be a reduced risk of infection, stress and anxiety. Sciullo predicts the hospital facilities will continue to grow as more people seek out the fast and quality care available at LewisGale.

“With this investment,” said Sciullo “We are reaffirming our commitment to being among the very best ER providers in the country and providing the best ER patient care in the New River Valley.”

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