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CAMC gets state OK for cancer center, Memorial add-on

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The West Virginia Health Care Authority has signed off on two major additions to Charleston Area Medical Center.

The health care authority issued certificates of need to the hospital for its new cancer center and another for the addition of 48 acute care beds to CAMC Memorial Hospital.

Certificates of need are required before health-care providers in the state are allowed to add or develop health-care services and facilities.

The hospital is in the midst of a campaign to raise $15 million for the new $40 million David Lee Cancer center, which officials plan to build on the site of the former Watt Powell ballpark in Kanawha City.

The new 100,000-square foot building will feature multiple waiting rooms, a patient reference library, a wig and prosthesis shop, a healing garden and a coffee shop, officials have said.

Hospital officials plan to open the facility in 2014, though construction has yet to begin.

CAMC officials also have permission from the healthcare authority to add on to Memorial, also in Kanawha City.

Hospital officials plan to add three floors to the top of the Bradford Pavilion surgery building at Memorial for about $31 million. One floor would be used for beds and another would be used for storage. The hospital would build only the shell of the third floor, which could be completed when additional beds are needed, officials said.

Hospital officials hope to open the additional beds by the first quarter of 2015.

David Ramsey, CAMC's chief executive officer, has said CAMC needs the additional beds because the facility is full much of the time.

"We're virtually full most weeks and certainly in the middle of the week," Ramsey told the Gazette in May. "Then we, unfortunately, are in the situation of having to refuse transfers from other hospitals. Sometimes, not all the time, people are having to wait in the emergency room so we can free up a bed for them."

CAMC officials could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon.

Reach Lori Kersey at lori.kersey@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1240.


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