New hospital project on track for Albermale County, Va.

Five-story, $200M, 450,000-s.f. hospital facility planned

The Charlottesville region's growing population and steady influx of retirees is increasing the demand for high-quality health care. Martha Jefferson's upgrades will help accommodate that demand, as well as ongoing expansion efforts at Charlottesville's other hospital.

The University of Virginia Medical Center is adding a Long-Term Care Hospital on Ivy Road, building a tower of more rooms onto the main hospital and constructing the Emily Couric Cancer Center and a new children's hospital facility on West Main Street.

"All this activity means that in the very near future UVa Medical Center will become a $1 billion a year health care facility -- we think that's a significant investment for our region," UVa Medical Center Vice President and CEO Ed Howell wrote in an e-mail.

"However, the bottom line is that buildings are not the key to great health care, people are. We believe our physicians, nurses, technicians and staff, who are caring for more patients than ever and are training more physicians and nurses than ever, provide the highest quality health care in Central Virginia and that will not change in 2010."

Martha Jefferson's new hospital, Haden said, will be both bigger and better.

"We're not just trying to build a new Martha Jefferson Hospital, but slightly larger," he said. "It's going to be much more flexible and poised to meet the health care needs of the 21st century."

Copyright (c) 2008, The Daily Progress, Charlottesville, Va. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.