Memorial Health System expands Athens services | News
Memorial Health System, based in Marietta, will expand its services offered in Athens.
MHS plans to build a stand-alone emergency service on Columbus Road, Athens.
“This will be the fifth emergency department run by Memorial Health System,” said MHS President and CEO Scott Cantley. “This will be the second stand-alone emergency service.”
MHS already has offices in Athens providing primary care, specialist care, which includes cardiology, general surgery, orthopedic surgery, otolaryngology, podiatry and lifestyle medicine.
MHS has already established a great partnership with Ohio University and The Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine.
The new facility will also create new jobs and opportunities for healthcare and other professionals in Athens County. “When the facility fully opens, I think they will have over 100 full-time employees,” Cantley said. “I think it will be all kinds of jobs. Doctors, nurses, technicians, support staff, it will be a sample of everything you would have in a hospital.
MHS plans to open the new emergency department in the summer of 2023. The new 80,000 square foot facility will be able to treat patients with chest pain, strokes, trauma, broken bones, cuts and burns. . If a more serious condition requires further treatment, patients will be stabilized and transported to the main campus of Marietta Memorial Hospital.
“If patients need a service that is not available (at the Athens facility), we will certainly be able to transport patients to Marietta, by any means necessary,” Cantley said. “I doubt many need lifesteal, but we have a helipad, on-site, as part of this new development for those who do (must be lifesteal.)”
The new facility is priced at nearly $100 million and will offer much of the same medical treatment options that MHS has on its main campus.
“Every imaging modality that we use here at Marietta (MHS main campus) will be present in Athens,” Cantley said.
This would include ultrasound devices, but Cantley believes ultrasound, in this context, would be less likely to be obstetrical and more likely to be emergent. “Best practice for many emergency physicians today is to perform surgery in the emergency department with image guidance and ultrasound is a big part of that.”
Cantley believes the emergency department and its capabilities will complement other MHS services and facilities already in Athens.
“The other facilities we have in Athens are clinical operations or doctors’ offices,” he said, adding that these facilities are access points for primary and specialist care providers.
“It will be a huge support for the practices that are already part of the Memorial (health system) in Athens,” Cantley said. “So when a patient goes to see their doctor and needs x-rays or lab services, they can stay in their hometown. We believe this will complement all the other investments we have made in Athens which are doing so well.
Cantley believes the Athens expansion was a “logical step” for MHS. “We are a not-for-profit community health system. The reason we exist is to serve this area of southeast Ohio,” Cantley said. “The best way to serve our community is to grow and be vibrant, so this is just an extension of our mission.”
MHS began as a healthcare system in Marietta, but has since expanded to Belpre, other parts of Washington County, Ohio, and Tyler Co., West Virginia.
“We are absolutely looking forward to coming to Athens and being part of the healthcare team in Athens,” Cantley said. “We look forward to partnering with the physicians who are already here, as well as bringing in new specialty services that weren’t there before.