Community members give feedback on Patrick County hospital at town hall

Published: Aug. 22, 2022 at 10:48 PM EDT
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PATRICK COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - Foresight Health leaders met with members of the community Monday night at Patrick County High School to receive their input on the new hospital.

The town hall was open to the public for Foresight leaders to gain feedback from the community to help decide the range of services that will be offered.

One of the main topics of discussion at the meeting was mental health.

“If we’re talking mental health, it has broken families and broken kids. It’s very rare to find treatment. If you can’t find treatment in urban areas, imagine rural areas,” said Dr. Sameer Suhail, CEO of Foresight Health.

Foresight says the main difference between this hospital and the previous one will be the psychiatric services.

“There are very few hospitals within the service area that do provide psychiatric services, and they’re usually very full. I have been told by EMS that they’re taking people as far as Roanoke or farther to get services. If you happen to be in psychiatric crisis, or detoxifying from either alcohol or a heavier substance, that is a very long time in an ambulance,” said Sharon Sidell, organizational psychologist for Foresight Health.

Foresight Health’s long term plans include adding a cancer treatment center.

“Virginia and rural areas really need health care, and there are other states that are rural that actually need to benefit from this,” said Dr. Suhail. “So, our focus is to basically make a difference and give you what you guys had before, but on a better scale”

Community members were able to ask questions and voice their concerns on topics such as insurance and staffing.

“Having this town hall meeting tonight, trying to be responsive to the needs of the community,” said Sidell. “As we finalize what we’re doing, we hope it will be what the community really needs. Because a community based critical access hospital has to have the community as a partner.”

Foresight Health is looking to add 200 to 300 new jobs and is in the interview process. Applications are still being accepted on their website.

The hospital is still set to open by the end of January 2023.