Twenty years after the groundbreaking ceremony that began construction the Loudon Hospital Center in Lansdowne, a crowd of medical, political and community leaders gathered today at the same location to celebrate another expansion at the campus.
Today’s groundbreaking was for a 7-story patient tower set to open early in 2020. It is the latest piece of the $770 million investment Inova Health System has made in the Loudoun market since merging with the community hospital in 2004.
But the focus of Thursday’s ceremony wasn’t on the concrete and steel or the patient benefits that will be offered by the state-of-the-art, all-private-room addition. It was on the community leaders who have donated to make the project, and many others, possible.
Inova Loudoun CEO Deborah Addo said the organization’s focus is all about neighbors helping neighbors—from the medical staff to members of the hospital’s boards to the army of volunteers. The spotlight was on the community’s philanthropic giving.
“For us, a neighbor might be a person who has means that you don’t have who is willing to give you those means to support what you need to do,” she said. “So for us, those neighbors are our donors.”
The hospital is in the midst of a $20 million fundraising campaign to help implement the $300 million master plan of expansions at the campus. It publicly launched in June with a jump start of $12 million already in the bag, thanks in part to a $2 million donation from Sharon Virts and Scott Miller, and a $5 million donation from Bobbi, Karen and Fred Schaufeld. The families helped to spur earlier service expansions that improved the trauma-level services available locally—including the Virts Miller Family Emergency and Trauma Center and the Schaufeld Family Heart Center at Lansdowne. Donors Mike and Teresa Wheeler helped to expand emergency services in Leesburg, today’s Wheeler Family Emergency Department.
Dr. Edward Puccio, who leads the emergency department, said that philanthropy is making a critical difference.
“Names are testaments to what our donors have contributed to expanding the programs and access to care,” he said. “And the casual observer will look at and admire the shiny new hospital wings or programs the donors have made possible. But when I see these names, I see the lives of patients who have been impacted and the lives of patients who have been saved due to these individuals’ vision, aspirational spirit, and generosity.”
Virts said her family’s investment was inspired by her brother’s life-threatening aneurism two years ago. He was quickly moved to Inova Fairfax Hospital, where she said he received excellent care. But the experience highlighted the need to have a higher level of treatment available closer to home.
“I heard from Dr. Puccio that the leading cause of death for individuals under the age 44 is trauma. So, if you’re under 44, this trauma center is really important for you,” Virts said. “I know that we had to be part of bringing trauma care to Loudoun County.”
In May, Inova Loudoun Hospital achieved the designation as a Level III trauma center.
Mark Stauder, Inova’s president and COO, also highlighted the importance of being able to offer tertiary care treatment closer to the homes of Loudoun residents and the continuing role of donors in making that possible.
“We can’t do this alone. We’re here as a community partner. We’re here as an agent to facilitate clinical growth, programmatic growth, facility growth, but we need those strong philanthropic community partners. We need to do this together.”