In 2001, Lawrence County lost the only hospital in the county, forcing 62,000 residents to seek services from hospitals across the river in West Virginia and Kentucky. Medical professionals vacated the community, $250,000 in hospital revenue disappeared from the area, and southern Ohio had a significant gap in their health care services. Upon the closure, the community called upon the Ironton Lawrence County Community Action Organization (ILCAO) to fill the void created in medical care.
In addition to the expansion of ILCAO’s primary medical care services to three locations within the county – bringing the total to seven – ILCAO built a new medical campus in Ironton.
The Ironton Medical Campus, through a partnership with the St. Mary’s regional medical center in Huntington, West Virginia, is a 45,000 square foot state-of-the-art medical facility that offers a 24/7 full-service emergency room and a full set of services including a laboratory, imaging and diagnostic services, and a 12-bed trauma center. St. Mary’s presence also brings specialty medical care through a medical clinic featuring a rotation of medical specialists onsite.
The medical campus was developed at a cost of approximately $18 million and constructed on an 18 acre campus setting that allows for the future growth of medical services for the community. The Ironton Medical Campus also represents a major redevelopment initiative of one of two primary interchanges serving the Ironton community, utilizing timeless building and site design standards established by the nearby Ohio University Southern Campus.
The ILCAO operates a healthcare program on the campus that not only offers primary care and pediatric services, but has allowed for the introduction of critically-needed dental services onsite. The ILCAO healthcare program occupies nearly 13,000 square feet of the facility. They now serve over 40,000 patients annually, and support primary care, dental, pediatrics, and behavior health services countywide.
For more information about Community Action programs in your area, visit www.oacaa.org. Note, not all Community Action Agencies offer these programs.