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Posted January 3, 2009 | Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily
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Valley Health adds to family

Page Memorial brought on board; new facility planned

By James Heffernan -- Daily Staff Writer

WINCHESTER -- Valley Health will start the new year with a new addition to the family.

Page Memorial Hospital in Luray officially joined the Winchester-based health system on Thursday after 84 years as an independent.

The acquisition gives Valley Health five member hospitals, and continues a recent trend of purchases that carry commitments to build new facilities in the region.

"When we met with our counterparts at Page Memorial, we recognized a shared set of values and a deep commitment to provide the local community with the best care possible," Valley Health President and CEO Michael Halseth said in a statement. "We anticipate a smooth transition, and we are looking at ways to strengthen health care services in Page County."

Toward that end, Valley Health plans to invest $30 million in building a new Page Memorial, with a target opening of 2014. A certificate of need application must be filed and approved by the state before the project can begin.

In June, Valley Health responded to Page Memorial's request for proposals to renovate or replace the 25-bed, critical-access hospital. The two parties signed a letter of intent the following month to merge.

For now, the deal gives Page Memorial added strength in contracting for services and supplies, enhances its ability to recruit and retain physicians, and provides investment capital that exceeds what it could do on its own, according to Travis Clark, who will stay on as president of PMH.

"Our partnership with Valley Health gives us access to resources, ideas, information and expertise not previously available," he said in a statement.

Page Memorial's services include a fully staffed 24-hour emergency department, Page Convenient Care Clinic, an ambulance service, home health services and the PMH Therapy & Fitness Center. Its medical staff consists of two internal medicine specialists, four family practice physicians, a general surgeon, a radiologist and several emergency medicine physicians.

Valley Health acquired Hampshire Memorial Hospital in Romney, W.Va., in January 2008, and recently purchased War Memorial Hospital in Berkeley Springs, W.Va. New facilities are planned in both of those areas.

The nonprofit heath system also owns and operates hospitals in Winchester, Front Royal and Woodstock, as well as Valley Regional Enterprises.

* Contact James Heffernan at jheffernan@nvdaily.com

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