– July 2, 2007
- Sentara Obici Hospital
filed an application today with the Eastern Virginia Health Systems Agency and the Virginia Department of Health for a Certificate of Public Need (COPN) to expand Sentara Obici Hospital by 30 beds.
Rather than ask for new licensed beds, Sentara will ask permission to transfer 30 existing licensed beds from Sentara Norfolk General Hospital
“Sentara Norfolk General Hospital already serves a significant number of patients from the Suffolk area,” says Rosemary Check, vice president and administrator of Sentara Obici Hospital. “Transferring 30 beds to Sentara Obici will enable some of those patients to receive inpatient care closer to home.”
Sentara Obici Hospital is currently licensed for 138 beds, but the hospital has experienced high occupancy since it opened at its current location on Godwin Boulevard in 2002. Sentara Norfolk General Hospital is licensed for 563 beds, but not all of them are in use. Transferring those beds to Sentara Obici would improve utilization without adding to the licensed beds in the region.
“Population growth in Suffolk is putting a strain on Sentara Obici’s capacity,” Check adds. “We need to grow the hospital to keep up with current and future demand.”
Engineering and architectural studies are underway to determine the best way to expand the hospital.
The application for a COPN is part of a local and state regulatory process to ensure that expenditures on medical facilities and equipment are appropriate and based on community need. It is a lengthy and detailed process. Filing, regional and state review, public hearings and final decision-making could take six months or more.
“We’re hoping for timely approval of our application,” Rosemary Check concludes.
“It could take a couple of years to build a wing and put those beds into service and we need to begin that process.” 34/2007