Roane General Hospital is spending about $22 million to renovate its facilities in Spencer, West Virginia. A loan of $26 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will cover most of the expansion.
There will be a new medical office building, offering more preventative wellness care for the community, including a gym and fitness center, free educational classes, health screenings and support groups.
People of Roane County have lower than average health outcomes, quality of life and longevity, compared with other counties across West Virginia, and the country, according to a report last year by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
And at a time when many rural hospitals across the country are closing, or consolidating, CEO Doug Bentz says he thinks Roane General Hospital will be able to stay financially viable by offering more specialty outpatient care, like chemotherapy. Currently, patients in Wirt and Roane Counties have to travel more than an hour to Parkersburg or Charleston to receive this type of care.
“But that’s something that is very, very taxing to a community member that has to drive three-five days a week and sit in a chair and receive chemo for four hours, and then drive back. What a burden that is,” Bentz said.
Roane General Hospital is the county’s largest private employer and has more than 300 employers. That number is expected to grow with the expansion, which is scheduled to be completed by May 2021.