Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital turns 50
In July 1965, the first U.S. military ground troops were deployed in Vietnam, "Wooly Bully" was the number one song and the Super Ball bounced onto the shelves of toy stores nationwide. The U.S. Congress passed the Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act requiring every pack to have a warning label stating "Cigarettes may be hazardous to your health." And, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Social Security Act into law, creating Medicare.
Closer to home, General Hospital of Virginia Beach opened its doors on First Colonial Road, providing much-needed services to the fledgling new City of Virginia Beach. On Saturday, July 11, 2015, Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital, a 276-bed acute care facility, celebrates fifty years of serving the community and meeting the growing needs of its burgeoning population.
“It was an exhilarating time,” recalls Andrew Dickinson, M.D. “Doctors, nurses, administration, the Board…everyone involved was new to the community healthcare culture. We were young and ambitious, excited about the challenge and out to prove we were the best.”
Dickinson was part of the original medical staff and has since served as president of the medical staff and the Virginia Beach Medical Society, director of the Cardiology Department, and a board member for Sentara Healthcare and the Virginia State Board of Health.
Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital began as a community effort. In 1962 the community raised nearly $1 million to build a hospital by knocking on doors, holding benefit concerts, collecting old newspapers, sponsoring food tents at horse shows and selling paintings at the Boardwalk Art Show.
At the dedication ceremony in 1965, Virginia Governor Albertis S. Harrison Jr. declared, “This is a shining example of what can be accomplished by an inspired and aroused citizenry.”
daVinci® Robotic Surgery System to be added to Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital
Sentara Healthcare recently approved a $2.7M capital investment in a daVinci® Robotic Surgery System to enhance the gynecology, urology and colorectal surgery programs at Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital. The daVinci system will support oncology services and development of a comprehensive women’s health program focused on ease of access and coordination of services for women in midlife. The addition of the daVinci system demonstrates the evolution of the hospital’s programs to serve changing healthcare needs and the Sentara mission to improve health every day.
A demonstration of the daVinci robot’s precision surgical tools is scheduled in the hospital lobby at 10:45 a.m. on Saturday, July 11 following the 10 a.m. ceremony marking the hospital’s 50th anniversary.
Community Invited to Health Fair Saturday, July 11, 2015
Throughout its rich history, the hospital has remained a symbol of community pride and achievement. To commemorate this occasion, Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital invites the public to attend a Community Celebration and Health Fair on Saturday, July 11, 2015.
Saturday, July 11, 2015, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Health Education Center, Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital
1060 First Colonial Road
Virginia Beach, VA 23454
Remarks begin at 10 a.m. for 30 minutes, followed by Community Health Fair featuring pet therapy dogs, massages, food, music, face painting and family-friendly fun. Free health screenings: blood pressure, cholesterol, BMI, skin cancer, glucose testing. The hospital’s mass casualty evacuation bus and emergency tent hospital will also be on display.
Event speakers include: Bernie Boone, president, Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital; Dr. Joseph McDermott, medical staff president; Dr. Andrew Dickinson, retired cardiologist; The Honorable Will Sessoms, mayor, City of Virginia Beach; and Peggy Braun, RN, nurse executive.
11:30 a.m. Deepak Talreja, M.D.: Getting to the Heart of Healthfulness
12:30 p.m. Peter Jacobson, M.D.: Arthritis and Joint Pain
1:30 p.m. Celeste Bremer, M.D.: Advances in Cancer Treatment
2:30 p.m. Jan Janson, M.D.: No BUTTS About It, Get Your Colonoscopy Screening
Highlights of Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital History
August 1962 — The family of Levi Old Jr., M.D., donated 18 acres of land to build a hospital in the Hilltop area. The community raised nearly $1 million to build a hospital.
June 1965 — Virginia Governor Albertis S. Harrison Jr. dedicated the 105-bed General Hospital of Virginia Beach. One month later, on July 12, 1965, General Hospital of Virginia Beach opened its doors on First Colonial Road.
January 1969 — The North Wing opened, followed by the addition of the third and fourth floors over the South Wing in 1969.
In the 1970s, welcomed the Clinical Laboratory and the Blood Bank. The hospital became the first in the Commonwealth to take advanced life support systems into the field and offer cardio-pulmonary resuscitation training and an Emergency Coronary Care Program.
In the 1980s, General Hospital of Virginia Beach changed its name to Virginia Beach General Hospital (VBGH), and Tidewater Health Care Inc. became the parent corporation of the hospital.
The 1980s featured the opening of the Birthing Center, AtHome Care, Radiation Oncology, the Diagnostic Center, a Medical Office Building, Cardiac Catheterization Lab, the Virginia Beach Heart Institute, and Virginia Beach Ambulatory Surgery Center.
In the 1990s, the hospital opened the Cardiac Fitness Center, the Open Heart Surgery Program, a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Pain Management services, Tidewater Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Center, the Diabetes Center and the Sleep Disorders Center.
In June 1998, Tidewater Health Care and Sentara Health System merged to become Sentara Healthcare. Virginia Beach General Hospital became Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital.
At the turn of the century, the Endoscopy Department opened and the first Beta-Cath procedure in the region was performed. The 2000s also marked the opening of Tidewater Cardiovascular Institute and Sentara’s first Advanced Imaging Center.
In fall 2005, The West Wing and Sentara Heart Center opened. This $29 million expansion provided 108 spacious private rooms with overnight accommodations for family members.
In more recent years, Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital opened an 8-bed Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit, the Sentara OrthoJoint Center, CarePlus, a 24-bed Behavioral Health Unit, a Psych Safe Area in the Emergency Department and Sentara To Home retail pharmacy and healthcare supply store.
Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital and Sentara Leigh Hospital became the first in the world to receive Center of Excellence Designation for Managing Infection Risk (MIR) from Det Norske Veritas (DNV GL) the third-party accrediting agency for Sentara Healthcare.