WVU Medicine to build cancer center in Princeton, new emergency department in Bluefield


Bluefield Daily Telegraph

PRINCETON — The West Virginia University (WVU) Health System Board of Directors approved a nearly $400 million strategic capital budget on Wednesday that includes preliminary plans for a new $64.5 million comprehensive cancer center on the campus of WVU Medicine Princeton Community Hospital and a new full-service emergency department for Bluefield.

In a press release issued by WVU medicine, the board said preliminary details of the Princeton and Bluefield project include $64,500,000 to build a comprehensive cancer center on the campus of WVU Medicine Princeton Community Hospital and to invest in Bluefield by relocating the full-service emergency department and imaging and lab services to the Bluefield Pavilion site campus and adding 10 observation beds, MRI, and ultrasound.

Cassandra Stalzer, director of marketing and public relations for WVU Medicine Princeton Community Hospital, said the new cancer center is a large construction project that will take several years to complete.

"It's at the very beginning of the process," Stalzer said Thursday.

Stalzer said the new cancer center will be an extension of the existing Parkview Center on the WVU-PCH campus.

In terms of Bluefield, the existing emergency department is currently located at the site of the former Bluefield Regional Medical Center, which is now the Bluefield State University Medical Education Center.

Stalzer said the full-service emergency department and imaging and lab services will be relocated to the Bluefield Health Pavilion campus adding 10 observation beds, MRI and ultrasound services.

"There are some imaging services currently at the Bluefield ER, but with the construction of the new ER we would definitely be enhancing the services we will be able to offer," she said.

Stalzer said WVU Medicine Princeton Community Hospital currently leases space in the existing building right now, and would be ending that lease once the new ER is developed at the Bluefield Pavilion. The Pavilion is located off of U.S. Route 460 in Bluefield, and was once the former St. Luke's Hospital.

Stalzer said the new emergency department would be an addition constructed to the existing Health Pavilion.

More details will be released during a media event on Tuesday, April 23. Stalzer said that media event will be live streamed by WVU Princeton Community Hospital on their Facebook page for the public to watch.

The $400 million strategic capital budget also includes projects for Morgantown, Fairmont and the Elkins corridor, in addition to Princeton and Bluefield.

The projects are all subject to regulatory approval, a WVU Medicine press release said.

"Separately, these are all transformative projects; collectively, they represent a giant leap as we continue to build a best-in-class Health System for the people of West Virginia and the broader region," Albert L. Wright, Jr., president and CEO of the WVU Health System, said in the press release. "Our true north remains our commitment to our patients and our ability to serve them in a caring and healing environment, and by expanding the breadth and depth of our programs and infrastructure, we ensure the Health System is well-positioned long-term to meet the needs of our patients."

Preliminary details of the remaining remaining projects include:

— Elkins corridor — $37,300,000 to build a 38,000-square-foot, multi-specialty ambulatory facility linked to WVU Medicine United Hospital Center. A "hospital without beds," the facility is expected to offer walk-in family medicine and urgent care; cardiology; orthopaedics; oncology and infusion services; ear, nose, and throat; urology; infectious diseases; pain management; pulmonology; rheumatology; and lab and imaging (mobile CT and MRI), among other services.

— Morgantown — $233,500,000 for a new, multi-center outpatient facility with surgical suites for the WVU Eye Institute. The new structure will be on the site of the former Fieldcrest Hall at the intersection of Van Voorhis Road and Elmer Prince Drive. The project also includes a multi-level parking garage with over 1,100 spaces.

The announcement comes two weeks after the WVU Health System announced that it was in the early stages of updating its master campus plan in Morgantown with the goal of building a multi-story cancer hospital as part of the J.W. Ruby Medical Complex.

— Contact Charles Owens at cowens@bdtonline.com. Follow him @BDTOwens

— Contact Charles Owens at cowens@bdtonline.com. Follow him @BDTOwens