Wednesday, November 16, 2022
Across the 44th District, we are fortunate to have wonderful, diverse businesses, community organizations and charities, and a supportive Mount Vernon-Springfield Chamber of Commerce, that all contribute to our thriving and growing community. As proud as I am to represent them, I am equally proud of how they have stepped up over these challenging couple of years to support our neighbors. We are truly a community that sticks together and supports each other, and that’s why I love being your Delegate in Virginia’s General Assembly.
Due to the unique nature of healthcare in the past two years — first, the COVID-19 pandemic and now record levels of flu and other respiratory illness — perhaps there’s no better example of “neighbors helping neighbors” in our community than Inova Mount Vernon Hospital.
Like many in our community, there was a time when I was concerned about the future of our community hospital. Thankfully, due to leadership and investment from the Inova Health System, our Mount Vernon Hospital is not only surviving, but thriving. I sleep well knowing that the hospital is here to serve our community well into the future.
We should all be proud of our nationally-recognized community hospital. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the agency that oversees federal health insurance programs, ranks every hospital in the country for quality and safety. Inova Mount Vernon has its highest ranking: five-stars. This recognition was earned by just eight other hospitals in the Commonwealth and by just 13.8% of hospitals in the country.
Earlier this year, Inova Mount Vernon also earned “Magnet” designation by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, considered the highest recognition in the nation for nursing excellence. In addition to that honor, Inova Mount Vernon nurses were recognized as “exemplars” for top performance in nursing satisfaction, infection prevention, care coordination, and patient satisfaction. I can tell you from personal experience just last year how wonderful the nurses were in caring for my mother.
Since 2019, Inova has invested $40 million in the hospital to improve facilities, equipment, and patient experience. In recent years, you may have visited their state-of-the-art new Emergency Room, or spent time with a family member in the new patient tower. This past year, Inova committed $2.5 million to expand operating rooms and to purchase the hospital’s first DaVinci Robot, enabling robotic-assisted, minimally invasive surgery at Inova Mount Vernon for the first time.
Right now, there are two major projects underway to upgrade the hospital and expand services to the community. Opening early next year, the hospital is adding 20 additional inpatient behavioral health beds, a 15% increase to Inova’s regional psychiatric bed capacity. As we navigate a community mental health crisis exacerbated by the pandemic, this is a critically important investment.
Additionally, Inova is establishing Northern Virginia’s first Critical Illness Recovery Hospital at Mount Vernon to serve patients who need a longer stay for specialized care, but who no longer need to be in an intensive care unit. Prior to the establishment of this service at Inova Mount Vernon, patients need to be transferred to facilities in Richmond, Charlottesville, or even out of state. This will make a huge difference for patients and families in our community who need this level of care but want it close to home. When combined with Inova Mount Vernon’s well-established and recognized excellence in rehabilitation programs, the hospital will be a regional center of excellence which will serve patients with complex needs from across our region, while at the same time providing excellent everyday care to our community.
All these investments at our Mount Vernon hospital are part of Inova’s broader effort to reinvest resources to improve and expand services to the communities in what it calls its “Eastern Region.” This includes the replacement of the current Inova Alexandria Hospital at two sites — the former Landmark Mall, and adjacent to their current Franconia-Springfield Healthplex. The goal, once completed, is to provide healthcare services in state-of-the-art facilities in the eastern part of Northern Virginia. In addition to the enhancements in our community hospital, these investments will result in world-class care that is even more accessible to our community.
On a recent visit to my office in Richmond, Inova President and CEO Dr. J. Stephen Jones said to me, “For as long as I’m CEO of Inova, you have my commitment that the Mount Vernon community will have a thriving community hospital at Inova Mount Vernon.” I am grateful for that pledge, and you can be sure I will hold Inova to it.
Whether you are a patient, a patient’s family member, or just a community member that may one day need medical care, rest assured that our local hospital is here for you and is, quite literally, a five-star, exceptional, world-class hospital. Many members of our community have jobs there too that allow them to deliver timely, high-quality, and compassionate care to our neighbors. I am so glad our Mount Vernon hospital continues to grow and excel, and I commend Inova in its commitment to continue to serve as a community pillar for decades to com