A new rehabilitation hospital for Richmond is in the works, courtesy of a joint effort of Sheltering Arms Hospital and VCU Health System.
VCU and Sheltering Arms want to combine inpatient rehabilitation facilities into a new hospital with space for research, according to Sheltering Arms. The hospital will “address the needs of the community” and provide research and clinical training for VCU personnel and students.
The target for opening the facility is 2019.
An agreement was signed May 2 and was announced May 9. It is contingent on the success of state approval of a certificate of public need. The deadline is Oct. 31 to submit the certificate, and it likely will take nine months or more to receive a ruling on the request, according to Sheltering Arms.
A site will be selected and design work will begin after approval of the certificate. Three members from each partner will serve on a board of managers that will oversee construction and development of an operations plan.
The partners say they want a site in the metro area with ample parking, easy access and room to grow. No name has been selected for the facility.
The new hospital will be administered by a board comprised of an equal number of members from each partner. Each partner will choose its own representatives. That board will select an administrator.
The agreement only applies to inpatient services. Outpatient services will continue to be provided separately. Rehabilitation patients are currently served by VCU at its medical center downtown, and its Stony Point facility and sports medicine clinic. Sheltering Arms operates several community-based programs in addition to its two hospitals and 11 outpatient centers.
The two systems will continue business as usual for now at their existing facilities. Sheltering Arms and VCU have long collaborated in research and training and in patient treatment programs, according to Mary Zweifel, Sheltering Arms’ interim CEO.
“This joint venture will further enhance our progress in shaping physical rehabilitative care for the benefit of our patients,” she said in a release on Monday from Sheltering Arms and VCU Health.
Curbing Zika Virus
Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones wants to enlist you in the battle against Zika virus.
Jones on Friday staged a media briefing to raise awareness of the potential for the mosquito-borne Zika virus to occur here, and to note that the best way to battle the bug is for each of us to take preventative actions.
That means controlling mosquitoes, which have exploded in population with the frequent rain so far in May. The City is distributing posters that call on residents to undertake commonsense measures to curb the mosquito population.
Richmond Dwight Jones Zika virus news conference
The first step is to dump any standing water. At least once a week, check your property for places where water has collected and created a breeding ground for mosquitoes. That can be anything from the plate under a flowerpot to a child’s toy. You also need to dump and refresh birdbath water.
Use insect repellent regularly when you’re outdoors, and keep windows shut. Make sure screens on doors and windows are in good repair.
The city is going to wage an information campaign that will reach Richmonders through a number of mediums, including door hangers, social media and advertising. The city also has had a mosquito control program for seven years that uses a larvicide. The program was initiated earlier this year, in early April.
But the city program can’t reach everywhere mosquitoes breed, and that “citizens are our first line of defense.”
There have been 472 cases of Zika virus in the continental United States, all of them acquired outside the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Virginia has had 15 cases, with three of those in Central Virginia, the Virginia Department of Health reported today.
Zika is linked to the birth of babies with microcephaly to infected mothers and some patients developing Guillain-Barre syndrome after an infection. Most infected people are asymptomatic, and the 20 percent of infected people who develop symptoms have only a mild form of illness.