Colleen Rowan Photo Wheeling Hospital CEO Ron Violi speaks at a press conference at Wheeling Hospital Dec. 7 outlining details of the new Continuous Care Center currently under construction.
By Colleen Rowan WHEELING—The new Continuous Care Center currently under construction at Wheeling Hospital will feel more like a home to its future residents and less of a facility, the president of the hospital’s board of directors Msgr. Kevin M. Quirk, J.V., said at a Dec. 7 press conference where details of the project were outlined. Moving from 120 rooms of the current facility, the new Continuous Care Center will offer 144 private rooms when it opens this spring. The three-story, 107,000-square-foot center is being built atop a hill overlooking Wheeling Hospital, which is funding the $34 million project. “Over a decade ago we made a commitment to extending our lines of service and care … to children and to our elders,” Msgr. Quirk said. “We began the Center for Pediatrics, which is an integral part of the Tower 5 project, extending service there so that people can have their children cared for in the local community. … We’ve always had a concern for the elderly who are so much a part of our community, especially as a community of faith. Two years ago, touring the current Bishop Hodges Continuous Care Center, Bishop Bransfield and Ron Violi decided that what we were able to do with Tower 5 we could do for the Continuous Care Center.” The new center, hospital officials said, will replace the smaller Bishop Joseph H. Hodges Continuous Care Center located adjacent to the hospital. Christy Tarr, director of the center, said the new center will offer state-of-the-art equipped main kitchen, five restaurant-style dining rooms throughout, a physical therapy room, a spa with a jet tub and hair salon, a large chapel, two activity rooms, two outdoor courtyards, five patient/family lounge areas and a healing garden. “When opened in early 2018, it will be one of America’s most modern, patient- and family-friendly long-term nursing care facilities,” Wheeling Hospital CEO Ron Violi said in a statement before the press conference. “It will feature warm, home-like amenities for the patient and their visiting loved ones. And the landscaped grounds will be beautiful with a fantastic view of Wheeling.” The new center is larger than the current center by 67,000 square feet—or 2.5 times, hospital officials said. Each room is designed for one patient, providing the privacy patients and their families’ desire. “The new Continuous Care Center is good news for the hospital and even better news for everyone in the region,” Bishop Michael J. Bransfield said in a statement. “I am extremely grateful for Ron Violi’s leadership with the project, as well as everyone involved in bringing improved health care to area residents and our ministry with them.” At the press conference, Msgr. Quirk said that the new Continuous Care Center and other recent projects such as Tower 5, the Emergency and Trauma Center, the Center for Pediatrics and Cardiac Catheterization Lab are all part of Wheeling Hospital’s commitment to the community. “Wheeling Hospital is one of the few remaining independent diocesan hospitals in the United States,” Msgr. Quirk said. “We have made a commitment to remain an independent diocesan hospital serving particularly the people of the Upper Ohio Valley, and we believe that that is an integral part of preaching the Gospel—that caring for the health of those in our community is … an essential part of what we do as Catholic Christians. Christ himself made how we treat those around us a measure for how we are living a Christian life.” Violi echoed these sentiments and said, “So much of what we do has a lot more to do with what the community needs rather than what we need as a hospital. From pediatrics to geriatrics, we’ve got it covered.” Wheeling Hospital officials said the new center was designed by Stantec, the same architectural firm that designed Tower 5, which opened in 2012. Marks Landau is the building contractor for the new center.