The Sentara BelleHarbour campus in Suffolk, Va. broke ground on a second medical services building featuring outpatient surgery and observation beds, plus a helipad.

Sentara BelleHarbour second medical building started

Second building to feature outpatient surgery suite

SUFFOLK, VA – Officials with Sentara Healthcare and the Sentara BelleHarbour campus in Suffolk, Va. broke ground on a second medical office building on Tuesday, May 2.

The 85,000 square foot, $34M building will feature an ambulatory surgery center with two operating rooms, an expanded emergency department, 14 observation beds for ED and surgery patients, new medical office space and a helipad. Completion is expected in early 2019.

“At 420 square miles, it can take quite a while to drive from one corner of Suffolk to another,” said Steve Julian, MD, President of Sentara Obici Hospital in Suffolk and the Sentara BelleHarbour campus. “With that reality, Sentara set out to bring our services closer to home for people in North Suffolk. We want to make Sentara BelleHarbour a medical destination and a gateway to the integrated services of Sentara Healthcare.”

The new four-story building will be positioned on what is now a surface parking lot in front of the current three-story building, which opened in 2008. The two buildings will be connected and replacement surface parking will be added.

Sentara BelleHarbour currently includes a 24-hour, ambulance-accessible, free-standing emergency department (ED) staffed by the same board-certified emergency physicians who serve Sentara hospitals. The expansion plan calls for the ED to grow from 17 beds to 23 or 24.

“I know firsthand having ample emergency room services is one of the most important things we can have in our city,” said Suffolk Mayor Linda Johnson in her remarks. “You are treating entire families with your reach,” Johnson continued, “and we as a community know you’re here to stay to provide for your patients.

The current campus also offers advanced imaging including MRI and state-of-the-art CT scanning, a breast center with 3-D mammography, anticoagulation therapy, cardiac testing, physical therapy, family and occupational medicine, a certified sleep center, laboratory services and a community room for health education programs and group meetings.

The campus expansion includes an FAA-registered helipad to facilitate helicopter ambulance transfers of ED patients to hospitals when required. Sentara BelleHarbour sees one or two helicopter pickups per month.

A master plan for Sentara BelleHarbour includes long-term potential for up to four medical office buildings, an urgent care center and a parking deck, depending on population growth and demand for services in the area.

“This new medical office building will help Sentara meet growing demand for services in North Suffolk,” said Howard P. Kern, President & CEO of Sentara Healthcare at the event.  “We want to build lifelong relationships with our patients and their families and access to care is one way to achieve that goal,” Kern said.