Essentia to build new laboratory at Virginia hospitalHEALTH NOTES: A new laboratory will be the most visible change at Virginia’s hospital since Essentia Health took over at the beginning of the year.
By: John Lundy, Duluth News Tribune
A new laboratory will be the most visible change at Virginia’s hospital since Essentia Health took over at the beginning of the year.
Construction will begin soon on the $1.1 million lab, and it should be up and running by mid-November, Essentia said in a news release. The 2,800-square-foot lab, to be located next to the gift shop in the Virginia hospital, will combine lab services in both the hospital and nearby Essentia Health-Virginia Clinic.
The clinic already was part of Essentia Health last year when the Virginia City Council voted in September to approve an affiliation deal for the hospital with Essentia. Through last year, the hospital was city-owned and was known as Virginia Regional Medical Center. When the affiliation took place on Jan. 1, it took on the name Essentia Health-Virginia.
As part of the deal, Essentia promised $7 million in infrastructure repairs to the hospital.
The new lab will offer patients more efficient lab testing and services, said Rich Weiss, regional facilities manager for Essentia Health-Virginia. Patients at the clinic still have blood drawn there, with samples sent to the lab via a pneumatic tube system.
The construction will be the first of several projects in the near future, the news release said. The hospital’s chapel, gift shop and family waiting areas will be relocated closer to the hospital’s western entrance. Those projects are planned for early next year. A registration area for all patients also is planned near the west entrance.