Trinity opens new primary care office in Bellaire
BELLAIRE — Trinity Health System celebrated the grand opening of its primary care health office in Bellaire on Friday.
The celebration included a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the St. Clairsville Area Chamber of Commerce, Trinity officials and other dignitaries.
The opening comes on the heels of the closures this year of East Ohio Regional Hospital in Martins Ferry and Ohio Valley Medical Center in Wheeling. Bellaire’s hospital, the former Belmont Community Hospital, also closed last spring.
The new office is located in space at the Imperial Plaza near the Kroger store. New signage still must be installed on the outside, but on the door the main caregiver’s name, nurse practitioner Kathi Harris, is on the door.
Matt Grimshaw, president and CEO of Trinity Health System of Steubenville, said Trinity is trying to help fill a void left by the hospital closures. Though access to emergency room care may still be an issue for some, residents of Bellaire can choose to seek care at the clinic. Harris said people can make her their primary care provider, then they can walk in or make appointments as needed.
Also staffing the office are Carla Doyno, a licensed practical nurse; receptionist Tonya Cihon; and Cindy Taylor, medical assistant.
“This is not just a building, it’s a ministry,” Grimshaw said, following the blessing of the building by the Rev. Dan Heusel, pastor of St. John Catholic Church in Bellaire. “We’re excited about what we’re bringing to Bellaire.”
For more information, call 740-676-2819.
Trinity recently reopened an outpatient clinic in St. Clairsville that previously was operated by EORH. A new black lung clinic is set to open at the end of December in St. Clairsville at Trinity’s St. Clairsville Medical Plaza, located behind Riesbeck’s.
Becky Maruca, project coordinator, and Ann Coates, patient care coordinator, both previously worked at the lung clinic at EORH and will be heading up the Trinity Health System Black Lung Clinic. They noted the clinic can help not only coal miners, but anyone whose lungs have been exposed to potentially harmful dust or chemicals.
“You don’t have to be a coal miner. You can be in any occupation,” Coates said.
Both Maruca and Coates noted they expect to have more lung patients in the future because of the natural gas drilling industry. For example, workers are being exposed to silica from the sand they are working with. This includes those who work at sand off-loading facilities like the one in Bellaire. Coates said she began noticing a fine dust inside her vehicle driving on Ohio 7 in Bellaire. She realized it was coming from the sand loading facility. To prevent herself from breathing it, she now turns on her air conditioning to circulate inside her vehicle only. This small measure has worked to keep it from coming inside her vehicle, she said.
Coates said coal miners also now are being exposed to more silica from having to dig deeper into rock to reach coal seams.
For more information about the future lung clinic, call 740-695-2386.