By JAMES E. CASTO
For The State Journal
Huntington's St. Mary's Medical Center has undertaken a major expansion into neighboring Ohio with the opening of the new $18.5 million St. Mary's Medical Campus Ironton.
Ribbon-cutting ceremonies were conducted July 8 at the two-story, 46,000-square foot building located at 1408 Campbell Drive, and the facility welcomed its first patients at 7 a.m. July 9.
The campus will offer 24/7 emergency care, imaging services, lab services, family care physicians, pediatricians, specialty physicians and dental services. Hospice of Huntington will also operate an office in the building.
Ironton and Lawrence County residents have had to seek medical care in Huntington, Ashland or Russell, Ky., since Ironton's River Valley Health Systems closed in 2001, leaving 400 people out of a job.
The new medical campus, which will employ 100 people, is a joint venture between St. Mary's and the Ironton-Lawrence County Area Community Action Organization.
The CAO will employ the complex's pediatricians and family care physicians and will staff the dental clinic, set to open in 60 to 90 days.
St. Mary's will provide specialists from Huntington on a rotating basis. These will include physicians in orthopedics, neurosurgery, cardiovascular and thoracic, electrophysiology and urology.
Patients requiring emergency care will be treated in the facility's fully staffed and equipped emergency room and then either released or transferred to other Tri-State hospitals. The campus has a helipad for patients transported by helicopter.