Virginia rejects new Hanover hospital; community shares voices

Posted at 5:31 PM, Oct 03, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-03 18:49:20-04

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. -- A proposed $234 million hospital by HCA Healthcare in Hanover County is seemingly no more after it was rejected by the state health commissioner.

The proposed 60-bed Ashland Hospital would have been on Sliding Hill Road just off Interstate 95.

However, state health commissioner Dr. Karen Shelton rejected the proposal in a letter last week saying, in a nutshell, that there was no demonstrated need for a new hospital in the area.

Among the reasons cited were the 10 hospitals already in Central Virginia, opposition from the other healthcare companies VCU and Bon Secours, and the cost not reasonable compared to the proposed benefit.

The hospital had the support of county leaders and some residents that CBS 6 spoke to who said they were disappointed with the decision.

"I would have liked to have seen it. Because I think it's closer for people traveling and coming off 95. And it's just, it's needed," Hanover resident Gail Greene said.

"I just can't believe the state would say no to something that would be so good for our community," David Sells added.

But duringa summertime hearing on the proposal, other neighbors spoke out against the hospital.

"I feel we have a hospital 10 minutes away, so I don't think there's a need right here," Lizz Grassberger said

"The main issues regarding traffic concerns and whether or not they are going to be. able to properly address the amount of traffic the hospital is predicted to generate by itself on top of other developments that are currently happening," nearby resident Chris French said.

In response, HCA said it was disappointed but respected the decision.

"As a leading provider of healthcare in central Virginia, HCA Virginia Henrico Doctors’ Hospitals are constantly evaluating gaps in access to care and developing approaches to better meet the needs of the community and our patients," a company statement read, in part.

HCA can appeal the decision to the courts, but they have not indicated what they intend to do.

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