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It was with great pomp and circumstance that the much anticipated new Centra primary care facility officially opened its doors to the public on Sunday afternoon. A huge tent, decorated with arches of colored balloons, potted plants and set inside with 300 chairs, was filled to capacity and eventually to overflowing. The Prince Edward High School Marching Band even made an appearance to add to the festivities, but more importantly, to play The Star Spangled Banner for the assembly. Members of Centra Hospital staff, executives, town and county officials and local residents came out to the grand opening of a facility that will forever change the way health care is handled in our area.
From the stage that was set at the head of the tent a gathering of officials from Centra Healthcare took the time, each in their turn, to thank and congratulate everyone that had been a part of the massive effort that made the facility a reality. E.W. Tibbs, the President and CEO of Centra, perhaps made the most significant remark when he gestured to the town and county officials of Farmville and Prince Edward County sitting in the audience and to the members of the Centra team that sat assembled onstage and said, “Here sit among us the truest examples of the highest level of commitment to quality healthcare for the residents of this region. It is this type of commitment that has made this facility possible.”
After a formal ribbon cutting ceremony, the general public was invited in to tour the new building and enjoy refreshments. According to sources, the number of people attending the ceremony may have reached as many as 800. A steady stream of visitors made it through the front doors for not quite two hours, anxiously waiting for a look inside.
The 52,000 square foot facility will house a primary care facility that will keep hours that are set specifically to cater to those that work and cannot take time off to go to the doctor. Staying open after conventional hours like this will be a huge boon to residents, and just another example of the desire that Centra has to provide quality healthcare to the region. Along with primary care, the state of the art medical facility will house digital x-ray, laboratory, nephrology, psychiatric services, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and the orthopaedic clinic.
As Tom Angelo, CEO of Centra Southside Community Hospital put it at the beginning of the presentation on Sunday afternoon, “This is a historic moment for healthcare in Southside Virginia.”