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Amy Umble is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star

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Spotsy hospital is open–sort of

The lobby of the new Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center. (Photo by Dr. Henry Wicker.)

The Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center opened yesterday, though hospital officials are reluctant to talk about it. They declined a request to let a reporter visit yesterday, and at day’s end, they declined to talk about the numbers or types of patients they treated.

“We certainly don’t want to make this a big deal right now,” said spokeswoman  Jeanne Burkett.

Officials said they would prefer to focus on June 7, the official opening date, the one with the ribbon-cutting, invited guests and reception. If they talk about what’s happening now, they said, the public might get confused.

What’s happening now, and for the next two weeks, is a limited opening, or as Burkett described it, a “soft opening.” Regulators say that Spotsylvania must treat 30 inpatients before it can get the approvals it needs. The plan was for Spotsylvania rescue squads to bring in patients and for local doctors or clinics to refer them. Think of it as medicine by invitation-only.  

“It went very well,” Burkett said yesterday afternoon. “We are working toward our 30 that we need for our survey.”


  • Kaye

    It makes me a bit uncomfortable that they don’t think we, the public, will get the idea of a gradual opening. I think I get it. You’re kind of open but you’re not ready to be overwhelmed with patients. There’s a lot of interest in this hospital, and trying to keep your opening quiet isn’t the answer. Just be upfront! We future patients may be smarter than you think.

  • Kim

    I think it’s very funny they criticized Stafford Hospital for opening the way that it did, with a limited number of beds, and now they’re doing the same thing! Any they won’t even advise the publib about what’s going on! So much for having the community’s best inerests at heart! Sounds like they are a pretty shady company!

  • Jared

    They probably declined an interview because they know the the Free Lance Star is such a shady company. They twist and bend stories to the way they want to report them. HCA hospital wants to give the public a chance to get their opinion of the hospital before the Free Lance Crap messes it up.

  • David

    I don’t see a thing wrong with a discreet and limited opening prior to the grand opening date. It gives the operation a chance to fine-tune their procedures and iron out any kinks before the mass rush of patients that they’re likely not fully staffed for yet. Given all the flak that appeared in the FLS about having another hospital here in the first place, I don’t see what all the fussing is about, except of course that some folks just aren’t happy unless they’re complaining.

  • http://none Mary

    This is not a fair critique, considering SRMC is attempting to qualify for an official open. If they “OPENED” without qualifying, then they would have to close until standards are met. Before penning a slap-dash critique, implying impropriety, maybe the author should understand the importance of their focus on qualifying for the official OPENING.

  • Kate RN

    Why the drama? Medicare requires a “soft opening” to meet the requirements of taking 30 inpatients. Why should that be controversial? It’s part of the regulatory process to open a hospita–just call Virginia Department of Health and hear the same thing.
    Jim, you need to get out of reporting like National Enquirer and start reporting facts that the community might want to read. It’s not about mud slinging or looking who will mess up–MWH or SRMC. It’s about quality healthcare for the community. Get with it. Your style is getting so old.