Smyth County Community Hospital was an aging, outdated hospital in the rural town of Marion, Va., when it joined MSHA in 2006. Even when times were tough, MSHA stuck with its promise to build a new hospital and enhance services, and in 2012, the hospital moved into a brand-new facility just a couple of miles down the road.
Local businessman Gary Peacock was chairman of the Smyth County Community Hospital board of directors during that period. He has also served on the MSHA board of directors, the Smyth County Health Trust and the Johnston Memorial Hospital board of trustees.
“The strategic plan at Smyth County was for us to refurbish or to build a new hospital,” Peacock said. “It was decided to build a new hospital, and then came the great depression of ’08 and financial chaos, and Mountain States never wavered.
“Then the opportunity came to affiliate with Johnston Memorial Hospital, less than 30 miles away. With that hospital already in the process of being built, Mountain States could’ve pulled back on us, but they said ‘We have a strategic plan here and you’re an integral part of it,’ and in April of this year we opened our new hospital.”
The result was a 150,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art, 44-bed acute care hospital that sits just off I-81. The building is LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) silver-certified, meaning it met strict criteria for environmentally sound, energy-saving design, construction and operation– the first such “green” project in Smyth County.
The improvements didn’t stop with building a new facility.
“They said there would be enhanced services and we have enhanced services,” Peacock said. “Oncology; cardiology; in-patient rehab; urology; pediatric cardiology; ear, nose and throat – all have been enhanced or added.”
The hospital maintains part ownership in a catheterization lab at Johnston Memorial Hospital, and has expanded its emergency department and diagnostic services.
There’s also the 109-bed nursing care facility, Francis Marion Manor Health & Rehabilitation, which came with the hospital when it joined Mountain States Health Alliance, plus a variety of outreach programs. Smyth County Community Hospital has served the region for more than 40 years with over 45 physicians serving on its active medical staff. The new hospital facility, backed by Mountain States and its involvement in the community, has helped stimulate the economy of the area.
Best of all, Peacock said, being affiliated with Mountain States Health Alliance has meant better support, education and resources for the SCCH staff, with a focus on patient-centered care.
“MSHA has really helped us become better care givers. I truly believe that,” Peacock said.