State Health Commissioner’s failure to approve on first submission not unusual
After being notified that the State Health Commissioner has not approved our initial applications for Certificates of Public Need (COPN) to build Doctors Hospital of Williamsburg, Riverside Health System will begin immediately to prepare new and revised applications for review in the cycle beginning in June 2006.
Riverside first unveiled its plans last July to build a 69-bed acute care hospital with an emergency room and medical offices on 26 acres of its Quarterpath property at Route 199 and Route 60 in the city of Williamsburg. The announcement was greeted with great enthusiasm and an outpouring of support from the public, local governing bodies and the medical community
State regulations required Riverside to submit two applications for COPNs. One covered the 51-bed acute care facility, including 25 beds for inpatient medical-surgical care, a six-bed intensive care unit, a 20-bed short-stay physical rehabilitation unit, and a 24/7 emergency department. A second application was submitted for an 18-bed long-term acute care facility on one floor of the new hospital.
Although we are disappointed by Dr. Robert B Stroube’s decision, such first round denials are not unusual. We are reviewing the specific reasons given for not approving the two applications, and we will endeavor to correct any perceived faults or deficiencies in the proposal as we prepare new applications.
Riverside Health System and the Advisory Board of Doctors Hospital wishes to assure the citizens of Greater Williamsburg that we remain absolutely committed to building Doctors Hospital, and to providing the community a choice of quality health care services now and in the future.
We want to thank the community for an unprecedented support expressed for the proposed new hospital. That support included the City Council of Williamsburg, the James City County Board of Supervisors, local fire and police chiefs, local physicians and medical professionals and, perhaps most gratifying, hundreds of local residents who sent letters of support to Dr. Stroube’s office on our behalf.
That support was crucial in this first round; and it will be even more important when we re-submit our new applications for COPN approval in June. The process begins over “from scratch;” that is, nothing carries over from the first round, including resolutions, petitions or letters of support.
To all those who wrote letters, please write and submit them again. To the governing bodies, the civic groups, the businesses that supported the first round applications, we will need your visible expressions of support for the new application process.
We will be sharing more information on our plans in the coming weeks, and most assuredly will be reaching out to the community for its input and its support in the new application process.
We are confident that we can meet the requirements for COPN approval, while maintaining the goals we’ve established for addressing the local community’s long-term requirements for both quality and quantity of services in health care.
Published: March 14, 2006