June, 2019
Carilion Clinic Announces Expansion of
Roanoke Memorial Hospital
Additions will improve emergency, cardiovascular and behavioral health care in the region.
Carilion Clinic recently announced plans for an expansion of Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital and the adjacent Behavioral Health Building in the Roanoke Innovation Corridor. The new structures will replace older structures at the hospital.

“This is an exciting day, not just for Carilion, but for our entire region,” said Nancy Howell Agee, president and CEO of Carilion Clinic. “After several years of careful planning, we are embarking on a major expansion that will address the growing needs of the 1 million patients we serve and continue the great momentum happening in the Roanoke Innovation Corridor.”

This project is part of Carilion’s long-term capital plan to invest more than $1 billion in the region. The cost of the Roanoke Memorial expansion is expected to exceed $300 million.

“We are making real, definitive progress. With these investments, our partnership with Virginia Tech, and our forthcoming merger of Jefferson College and Radford University, the Innovation Corridor continues to take shape,” said Agee. “New buildings are exciting; they are a physical representation of the growth and innovation in our region. What happens inside the buildings – the clinical care, the education, the research – is even more exciting to me. It’s the work of talented medical, health sciences and technology professionals that is carrying our community forward.”

Design and construction plans are still being finalized, and community members will have an opportunity to provide input in the process.

“The Carilion Clinic Board of Directors takes investments like this expansion very seriously,” said James Hartley, chair of the board of directors for Carilion Clinic. “Ultimately, we represent the voice of our community and it’s time to replace some of the older parts of Roanoke Memorial. We’re excited to soon be able to offer our neighbors better access to the high-quality care to which they’ve grown accustomed.”

Construction will begin later this year and is expected to take five years to complete.

“This is great news for our patients and our community,” said Dr. James Drougas, chief of staff for Carilion Medical Center (encompassing Roanoke Memorial and Roanoke Community hospitals and several other clinic sites) and a vascular surgeon with Jefferson Surgical Clinic. “This is the type of development that continues to build the Roanoke region’s reputation as a health care hub.”

The new Carilion initiative comes as progress continues on the Virginia Tech Carilion Biomedical Research Addition, a joint state, Virginia Tech and Carilion construction project at Riverside Circle; and the recent $50 million gift from the Horace G. Fralin Charitable Trust and Cynthia and Heywood Fralin to Virginia Tech for the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute.

Building Plans
In March 2015, Carilion met with neighbors in South Roanoke to discuss preliminary plans for a new tower. Two months later, in May 2015, the City of Roanoke approved the rezoning of the Crystal Spring property, based on the preliminary plans that were presented. The current plans for the tower are comparable to those early plans, and now include the replacement of the Behavioral Health Building and the addition of a new parking garage.

The expansion project will enhance Carilion’s capabilities now and into the future by providing specialized space for cardiac, behavioral health and emergency services for patients in Virginia.

The expansion project will add approximately 400,000 square feet to the medical center. Once complete, Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, recently named one of Becker’s “100 Great Hospitals in America” for the third consecutive year, will have 2.4 million square feet, making it one of the largest hospitals in Virginia.

“This project will address many of the needs our community has told us about,” said Steve Arner, chief operating officer for Carilion Clinic and president and CEO of Carilion Medical Center. “There will be more capacity in our emergency department – one of the busiest in Virginia – and there will be more easily accessible parking for our patients and visitors. To top it all off, our Cardiovascular Institute will find a new home in the addition.”

Three structures will be built to expand and replace aging parts of the medical center:
  • Crystal Spring Tower: The Crystal Spring Tower will be constructed to the south of the hospital, where out-of-use tennis courts exist today. It will consist of two or three floors of parking, an expanded emergency department (ED) and six or seven floors that will make up Carilion’s Cardiovascular Institute. The ED will include 95 beds, in addition to a new 40-bed observation unit. Carilion’s Roanoke-based heart and vascular services will be consolidated into one location.

  • “More and more patients are traveling to Roanoke for our world-class cardiovascular care,” said Dr. Patrice Weiss, chief medical officer for Carilion. “We consistently rank among the top 100 cardiovascular programs nationwide. Pulling all of those highly-sought-after services under one roof will make them easier for our patients to access.”

“This expansion will also allow us to continue to attract top physician, nursing and healthcare talent,” said Dr. Weiss. “It’s the people within our bricks and mortar that drive our success, dedication to patients and clinical outcomes.”
  • Behavioral Health Building: A new Behavioral Health Building will be constructed in the area behind the existing Rehabilitation Building on the corner of McClanahan and South Jefferson streets. Just as the current Rehabilitation building does, the new building will house the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine. Once the building has been constructed, the old Rehabilitation Building will be demolished.
  • Parking Garage: The new Jefferson Street Parking Garage will be located on the property where the existing Rehabilitation Building is located, adjacent to the Cancer Center. It will add approximately 550 new parking spaces at the medical center. A pedestrian walkway across Jefferson Street will be constructed to join the parking garage and the Crystal Spring Tower.

To allow for construction of the Crystal Spring Tower, Carilion will acquire the Western Virginia Water Authority’s building and land located at the corner of South Jefferson Street and Weller Avenue. The building will be demolished after new pump operations are relocated and put into service. Treated water from Crystal Spring will remain a drinking water source for customers of the Water Authority.

Funding the Expansion
Like any organization, Carilion spends time planning to meet short- and long-term capital needs. Short-term needs are funded through operations, whereas long-term needs are addressed through savings accumulated over time. 

In addition, funding for projects like this can come from a bond issuance. “Financing this project through a bond issuance is akin to getting a mortgage for your house – though on a larger scale,” said Don Halliwill, chief financial officer for Carilion. “We’ll use money from our accumulated reserves as a down payment and can secure long-term financing in the coming years to cover the entire cost of the project.”

Last week, Moody’s Investors Service upgraded Carilion’s bond rating to “Aa3” with a stable outlook, reaffirming the organization’s strong financial position.

“From a financial standpoint, much deliberation has gone into the timing for this project. Now is the right time for us to make this investment in our community,” said Halliwill. “Moody’s recent upgrade, our stable operating margins over the past five years and the recent expansion of Medicaid in Virginia have helped to reduce the risk of taking on such a substantial commitment.”

Architectural Partners
The architect chosen for the project is Nashville-based Earl Swensson Associates (ESa) , a nationally recognized architecture firm with extensive knowledge and experience in designing hospitals and other medical facilities. ESa is working with local firms Balzer & Associates and Lawrence Perry & Associates , as well as architecture+ (Troy, N.Y.), a firm specializing in designing facilities for mental and behavioral health patients. Carilion will request proposals from general contractors for this project.

“Beyond the large scale of programs included in Carilion’s campus expansion, our design team is excited about the enhancements planned for patient access, teaching support and wellness goals for the community,” said Sam Burnette, the ESa architect responsible for designing the expansion.

Stephen Feather, AIA
George G. Assaid, AIA
Interactive Design Group announces the promotion of Stephen Feather, AIA, to Vice President and the hiring of George G. Assaid, AIA, to lead firm operations.
Interactive Design Group (IDG) is pleased to announce that Stephen Feather, AIA, has been promoted to Vice President and George G. Assaid, AIA, has joined the IDG team as Operational Architect.

Feather, a long time member of the IDG team and a highly skilled architect, has been integral to the firm’s growth and continued success. He believes that taking time to understand client needs while respecting the complexion of the surrounding community are essential steps toward delivering an enduring and functional final product.

Assaid, a licensed architect and member of the American Institute of Architects, began his career in the mid-1980’s and taught architecture courses at Virginia Western Community College for more than a decade. During the mid-1990’s, George served as Subdivision Agent and Erosion and Sediment Control Program Administrator for Roanoke County. After 8 successful years as Capital Improvement Project Coordinator with Roanoke County Public Schools, George returned to the practice of architecture in 2006.

“Elevating Stephen’s role and adding George to the team position IDG for expansion. Stephen’s intuitive understanding of client and community needs and George’s wide-ranging operational knowledge will enhance the client experience, streamline our process, and increase our production capabilities.” says Bill Hume, IDG Founder & President.

Interactive Design Group is a multi-disciplinary architecture firm based in Roanoke, Virginia. IDG has been creating smart space solutions for clients in Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and Washington, D.C. since 1997. The IDG team is a carefully curated group of talented professionals with the experience to effectively serve a wide variety of industry sectors including corporate, financial, retail, education, religious, healthcare, industrial, and food service. Offering a wide array of services including programming, planning, design, feasibility studies, construction management, and consulting services for owners, general contractors, tenants, and developers, IDG handles projects of all sizes.
The Morningside Urban Farm located at 917 Morgan Avenue in Southeast Roanoke opened on
April 26, 2019.
Morningside Urban Farm

Join Carilion Clinic Community Health and Outreach, their farmer, their partners and neighbors for learning opportunities, planting and harvesting events and community celebrations throughout the year.
To find out more or to suggest an event at the Farm, contact Edie Naughton, R.N. via  email  or by calling 540-981-8077.

What’s on Your Nightstand?
There is a well-known commercial that asks, “What’s in your wallet?” It’s a smart marketing campaign because most people could identify the company that uses that catchy slogan. What does this have to do with anything? People can only fit so many things in their wallets, so what they have chosen to have in there indicates some level of importance. This month, I want to do a play of that phrase, “What’s in your wallet?” and ask instead, “What’s on your nightstand?”

When you were little, were you one of the students who only read a book if you absolutely had to? Did you try Cliff Notes, or see if there was a movie based on the book? There’s nothing wrong with this approach! You were seeking to be successful in a way that worked for you. At least, you hoped it worked!

Fast forward to our adult days. Study after study has been done on people who are successful in business and in life. One commonality that comes up over and over again is that they read. Books. Lots of books. Then, they take action based upon what they read. 

Right now I am reading Leading from the Front: No-Excuse Leadership Tactics for Women by Angie Morgan and Courtney Lynch, two Marine Corps Captains. Even if you know every premise of a book, reading about it from a different perspective can be an eye-opening experience. For an example, one thought presented in this book is to not wait for team members to ask for help. This should be a given, but reading it in print made me pause and think about each member of my team in Roanoke, and make a plan to reach out to them individually this month to be sure they didn’t need any assistance in any area.

Leading from the Front is what is on my nightstand. I can’t wait to finish it. What’s on your nightstand? If the answer is “nothing” or you don’t like the answer, I challenge you to do an internet search on top business books, choose one, read it, and take one or two actions. Even better – purchase a copy to share with several of your colleagues and have your own professional book talk. You might be surprised what you learn!
Here’s to continued education!

Business Bits is brought to you by Lesa Hanlin ( Lesa@vt.edu ), Virginia Tech, Executive Director, Roanoke Regional Initiatives (540-767-6100).
25 Events to Check Out this June in
Virginia's Blue Ridge

What are the events happening this June in the Roanoke Valley in Virginia’s Blue Ridge? This post is a preview of 25 of the biggest and most unique events happening in the region this month, and we hope you’ll add some of these to your calendar!

There are sporting events, tons of live music, history celebrations, and plenty of opportunities for family fun.

Here is your guide to events taking place this June in Virginia’s Blue Ridge.

Lost in translation: The medium is the message for a healthy heartbeat
James Smyth (left), an assistant professor and research scientist and Michael Zeitz (right) of the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute’s Center for Heart and Reparative Medicine Research worked with colleagues to reveal how a genetic message to produce healthy heart tissue is altered in the body during stress and aging.
Researchers at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC have revealed how a genetic message to produce healthy heart tissue is altered in the body during stress and aging to contribute to sudden cardiac death.

The discovery published in the  May 28 Cell Reports  centers on communication between heart cells and allows for the potential of developing targeted therapies to help people at risk of arrhythmias and heart attacks.

Led by senior author James Smyth, an assistant professor with the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute’s Center for Heart and Reparative Medicine Research, scientists focused on how generally overlooked, untranslated regions of RNA that flank the genetic code become shorter during aging or while under stressful conditions.

We Care Dental Care, Specializing in Pediatric Dentistry Opens in
City of Roanoke
We are excited to welcome Dr. Benjamin Burkitt to Roanoke with the opening of his first office, We Care Dental Care .

Dr. Burkitt holds his undergraduate degree and Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry degree from Temple University in Philadelphia. He and his wife, Ashley, a graduate of The University of Mary Washington, have chosen the City of Roanoke as their new home.

T he grand opening of We Care Dental Care was held on Thursday afternoon, May 30 at the 3433 Orange Avenue, NE location. The practice, which provides comprehensive, kid-focused dental care to make sure your little ones get a healthy start, brings 3 new full-time positions and a significant investment to the City of Roanoke. 
Ashley Satko, the tooth fairy (l), Dr. Benjamin Burkitt (c), and Mayor Sherman Lea (r) celebrate Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting held at We Care Dental Care on Thursday, May 30, 2019.
Passenger Traffic Continues to Grow at ROA
April traffic was up 10.7% year over year at the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport as 2019 continues trend of strong traffic growth.

The Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport continues to see 2019 traffic increase with April traffic up 10.7% on a year over year basis. April 2019 saw an increase of 5,666 passengers versus April 2018, which equates to 169 more passengers flying ROA each day. Year to date 2019 traffic is up 10.7%, an average of 172 passengers a day with 212,731 passengers served this year compared to 192,053 in 2018.

Strong community support, additional capacity, and improved airline operational reliability have all played roles in the continuation of sustained passenger growth, which began in September of 2016. At this pace, the airport is on track to have its busiest year since 2000.
“We are pleased to see this positive trend continue into 2019, especially given our strong traffic numbers in 2016, 2017 and 2018,” stated Timothy T. Bradshaw, A.A.E., executive director of the Roanoke Regional Airport Commission. “Passenger demand is a critical factor when speaking with airlines regarding improving and increasing air service to our region. Our carriers have added capacity at ROA and our customers have utilized it. We appreciate the support of our community choosing to fly ROA.”

The Commission continually works with the airlines to improve reliability, reduce air fare and upgrade equipment serving the region. This has played a significant role in the increase of passengers using the airport. In addition, the commission has invested resources to promote the services available at ROA and sincerely thanks our customers for choosing to fly ROA.

The Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport is the primary airport for Virginia’s Blue Ridge and the New River Valley. ROA serves over 660,000 passengers per year via 4 airlines (American Airlines, Delta Airlines, United Airlines, and Allegiant Air) with nonstop service to 6 hub cities (Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, New York LaGuardia, Philadelphia, and Washington Dulles) as well as weekly flights to Orlando Sanford International Airport and St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport.

To learn more, please visit www.flyroa.com .

Roanoke Arts Commission, Public Libraries, and RIDE Solutions Launch Zagster Art Baskets
Roanoke City students participaing in library after-school programs created 15 unique artworks to be displayed on bikeshare baskets.
On May 31 st , the final day of National Bike Month, RIDE Solutions – a program of the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission, the Roanoke Arts Commission, and Roanoke Public Libraries launched a new arts initiative combining the valley’s bikeshare system with works of original art designed by
Roanoke City students.
Above (from left to right):
Roanoke Arts Commission; Scott Crawford, Jeanne Fishwick, Macklyn Mosely,,Timothy Martin; Susan Jennings, Arts and Cultural Coordinator, City of Roanoke; Sheila Umberger, Director, Roanoke Public Libraries; and Jeremy Holmes, Director, RIDE Solutions.
“Having a bikeshare system expresses something about our values as a community,” says RIDE Solutions Director Jeremy Holmes, “We value our outdoors, we value active transportation and health, we value human-powered modes of transportation. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to use these bikes to share something else we value: Our arts and cultural amenities.”
Under this partnership, 15 basket covers have been replaced by covers designed and painted by students participating in after school programs at the Raleigh Court and Main branch libraries. Each basket features the original work of one or more students.
“It’s important to note that about 30% of our trips are taken by visitors to the Roanoke Valley,” adds Holmes. “This means that folks exploring the valley for the first time, or coming back for another visit, will get to have these surprising encounters with public art in unexpected places – on their bikeshare rental, at neighborhood stations, or even just passing by on a greenway walk.”
The baskets will remain on the Zagster bicycles for at least a month. During that time, RIDE Solutions will encourage folks to share their experience with the new art bikes by taking a selfie with the baskets and using the hashtag #artbybike on Instagram or Twitter. RIDE Solutions will hold contests for Zagster merchandise and other prizes throughout the month by randomly selecting tagged photos. More information can be found at ridesolutions.org/bikeshare.
RIDE Solutions is a sustainable transportation program operated by the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission in partnership with the New River Valley Planning District Commission, the Central Virginia Planning District Commission, and the West Piedmont Planning District Commission. It provides multimodal trip planning services – including carpool matching, bicycle commute routing, transit assistance, and telework consultation - for citizens and employers in central and southwest Virginia.

Visit ridesolutions.org for more information.
Don't forget...BizRoanoke is on RVTV Channel 3!

BizRoanoke is a monthly television program highlighting economic activity and 
programs within the City of Roanoke.
Tune into RVTV Channel 3 to learn more, access it on our website at 
www.BizRoanoke.com or follow this link to our most recent show: 

Check it Out!
City Owned Available Property
The City of Roanoke has a variety of properties, from existing buildings to buildable sites
presently available for acquisition. The purchase of City property must be approved by Council; this requires potential buyers to submit a proposal for the property. 

For more information on available properties and the proposal process, please visit the links below:

The City of Roanoke Department of Economic Development is on Facebook! Please "like" us today!
Virginia Tech, University of Richmond collaborate to offer Beer Brewer Professional Certificate
The yearlong program will train participants to work in the craft beer industry in a variety of roles, helping to stimulate growth in the craft beer industry in the region.

Virginia Tech is tapping into southwest Virginia’s growing craft beer industry by collaborating with the University of Richmond to offer a Beer Brewer Professional Certificate.

The yearlong non-credit program – a collaboration between the Virginia Tech Center for Organizational and Technological Advancement and the University of Richmond School of Professional and Continuing Studies – will guide students through the craft brewing business, including selecting high-quality ingredients, brewing, packaging and distribution. The program will highlight local, sustainable practices by partnering with Virginia suppliers, breweries and distributors.

“When students complete the program, they are prepared to enter the craft brewing industry in a variety of roles,” said Robyn Smith, program manager for Virginia Tech. “The goal is to give them the skills to make them more marketable or to open opportunities for advancement.”

The certificate program will build on the success of Virginia Tech’s Business of Brewing program, which helps participants turn a passion for brewing into a successful business. Brewery owners and managers who participated in the program stressed the need for quality professional training in southwest Virginia.

The Beer Brewer Professional Certificate is approved by the U.S. Department of Labor and Industry as related technical instruction for the registered apprenticeship program. A registered apprentice who successfully completes the program receives a journeyworker’s completion certificate – a national credential recognized in all 50 states and, in some cases, internationally. The joint program is also a part of the Brewers Association Beverage Educator Summit and Roundtable, an initiative by the Brewers Association to preserve, protect and promote small and independent craft breweries.

The collaboration with University of Richmond, which began offering a Beer Brewer Professional Certificate in 2016, provides Virginia Tech with instructional expertise while adding to Virginia Tech’s brewer education options.

“Virginia Tech’s statewide footprint helps the University of Richmond expand our certificate program,” said Bobby Faithful, program specialist with the University of Richmond. “We hope to help sustain the brewing economy and stimulate the growth of brewing in Virginia.”

The program, which costs $2,499, will begin Nov. 12. Classes will be held at the Virginia Tech Roanoke Center and partnering breweries. Applications and a required essay submission will open in June, with enrollment capped at 20 students. Plans call for the program to expand to the National Capital Region in 2020.

For more information, visit the Roanoke Area Beer Brewer Professional Certificate website or contact Robyn Smyth at robyn@vt.edu or (540) 767-6096. 

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