Norton Community Hospital opens state-of-the-art surgical suite


Norton Community Hospital's new operating rooms are 70 percent larger than the ones they are replacing, and offer state-of-the-art technology.

NORTON, Va. – Norton Community Hospital unveiled its state-of-the art, $12 million Surgical Suite, bringing cutting-edge equipment and technology to the facility – plus a lot more room to operate.

Surgeons began performing procedures in the 17,000-square-foot suite on Wednesday, Jan. 9. Each operating room is approximately 650 square feet, or about 70 percent larger than the old ORs. Among the upgrades the design offers are convenient, covered drop-off and pickup exclusively for surgery patients; more privacy for registration and consultation; and recovery bay expansion from three beds to six beds.

Planned for later this year, an electronic tracker board will be located in the reception area, providing patient status updates to family and friends.

“You can go to much bigger hospitals and you won’t find anything better,” said Ann Fleming, vice president for Virginia Operations for Mountain States Health Alliance (MSHA). Norton Community Hospital is part of the MSHA system.

The suite includes new endoscopy and gastrointestinal lab areas, a new central sterile supply area, a new cystoscopy suite, an anesthesia work room and improved equipment storage.

The operating rooms include:

  • High-tech monitoring equipment for anesthesia
  • LED surgical lighting
  • An integrated nurses’ station for real-time monitoring of all systems during surgery
  • Large audio and video wall-screens for viewing by the OR team
  • Fully integrated, ceiling-mounted equipment through a boom system

“As one person told me, up here in Wise County, we deserve 21st-century technology, too,” said Mark Leonard, vice president and CEO of Norton Community Hospital. “Surgical techniques are much different in 2013 than they were in the 1970s when the old operating rooms were built.”

Local officials joined MSHA and Norton Community Hospital leaders for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the surgery suite entrance on Thursday, Jan. 3.

Longtime Norton Community Hospital board member Bob Leonard reflected on the many upgrades, expansions and renovations the hospital has undergone over the last three years, and named a few more that are planned.

Also among those who spoke during the opening ceremony were Rick Colley, president of the Wise County/City of Norton Chamber of Commerce; Norton city council member Joe Fawbush; and Wise County administrator Shannon Scott.

MSHA’s Fleming also praised the staff at Norton Community Hospital.

“Bricks and mortar are great and this is absolutely phenomenal,” she said. “But really it is just a tool for our team members. You can have great facilities but that doesn’t matter if you don’t have great people. And we do.”

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