Loudoun Hospital Center in Lansdowne is too far away for central and western Loudoun residents, according to Board of Supervisors members.
On Monday, hospital representatives presented plans to the Board of Supervisors that propose expanding Western Loudoun Medical Center at the Cornwall campus into a full acute care facility. The board endorsed the plans with a resolution of support.
"While there may be bed access east of us, there is no hospital between Goose Creek and Winchester," said James Burton (I-Mercer). "The people in western Loudoun equally need that kind of access."
At the request of western Loudoun residents and rescue squads, Loudoun Healthcare, Inc. reopened the emergency department at the Cornwall campus, which is in western Leesburg. The January 2003 reopening resulted in shorter travel times for western Loudoun residents and alleviated demand on the Lansdowne facility, as stated in the agenda item.
Also in January, hospital administrators, government officials and county residents formed the Western Loudoun Medical Center Development Committee to make recommendations for services that could be added at the Cornwall campus and to address access of healthcare for all county residents. In April, the committee recommended Loudoun Healthcare seek a Certificate of Public Need (COPN) to operate licensed acute care beds at the Cornwall Campus. A month later, the board of directors for both Loudoun Hospital Center and Loudoun Healthcare, Inc. agreed to follow through on the recommendation.
"What needs to be looked at is the COPN process itself," said William Bogard (R-Sugarland Run), adding that as a Loudoun resident, he is concerned with access to empty beds at Loudoun and Reston facilities, not in Arlington and elsewhere. "The district is too big. It’s ridiculous we’re counting approved beds in Prince William County against … beds in Loudoun."
"We’ve been waiting a long time for … a fully functioning hospital in Leesburg," said Eleanore Towe (D-Blue Ridge).
On June 5, 1912, Loudoun Hospital Center opened as the Leesburg Hospital on West Market Street. The hospital, which underwent four name changes since, relocated to a 13-acre site at the Cornwall campus in 1916. The hospital made another move to Lansdowne in October 1997 and since 1988 has been called Loudoun Hospital Center.
IN OTHER BUSINESS, the Board of Supervisors:
* Approved converting 43 affordable dwelling units (ADU) at Alexan Ryans Corner from rental units to for-sale condominiums.
In 1991, Alexan Ryans Corner near the Dulles Greenway and Ryan Road opened as a 339-unit rental townhouse community with 43 ADU rental units, the number needed to comply with the county’s ADU Ordinance. Maryland company Mid-City Urban LLC hopes to purchase the development and convert the units to for-sale condominiums at the end of each lease-term. A mortgage broker will facilitate financing for existing tenants who decide to purchase the units.
Currently, there are 188 ADU units in Loudoun and another 59 units are expected to become available within the next six months. More than 200 new units will be added to the ADU list within the next four years.
* Approved using 25 percent of the cable television and franchise fee to support public, education and government programming and the oversight of telecommunications franchises. Currently, the county collects the fee from cable television operators and Open Video System providers and places it into the General Fund, generating about $960,000 a year.
"This promotes public expression of ideas, and I think that’s a great thing," said Supervisor Mark Herring (D-Leesburg). "Any citizen would be allowed to use this."