By Carelynn Shephard Bridget Fitzpatrick spoke to the Chester Lions Club Jan. 15 about the Bon Secours St. Francis Medical Center and their proposed...

By Carelynn Shephard

Bridget Fitzpatrick spoke to the Chester Lions Club Jan. 15 about the Bon Secours St. Francis Medical Center and their proposed improvements for Chesterfield County.

Fitzpatrick, the administrative director of operations at St. Francis Medical Center, explained that an expansion is necessary because of the county’s rapid population growth.

There are four primary initiatives which include: an ambulatory surgery center/medical office building, 55 new acute care beds at St. Francis, a free-standing emergency department in Chester, and a partnership with Virginia Commonwealth University to bring level 2 trauma services to the area.

Future projects may be of greater interest to Chester residents. Bon Secours has an option with John Tyler Community College to build an emergency room in front of the college on Jefferson Davis Highway. In addition to handling all emergency care, the facility will have high-end imaging modality, such as a CT scanner which would allow for much quicker diagnoses. This would also mean that response times for the area would improve because it would not take as long to transport patients and rescue squads would not be out of service as long.

Bon Secours will bear the expense of each of the projects, but they need letters of support for their Certificate of Public Need for each project. Letters can be sent to: Chris Accashian, St. Francis Medical Center, 13710 St. Francis Blvd., Suite 100, Midlothian, VA 23114 or by email to: christopher_accashian@bshsi.org. The Certificate of Public Need number, which should be included, is: VA-8426.