JAMESTOWN — Leonard Wheatcraft thought he had heartburn, “a bad case of indigestion,” maybe. This went on for a month or so until one April night last year the burning in his chest and throat, accompanied profuse sweat and a fall in his bathroom, told the 63-year-old retiree it was time to get medical help.
Wheatcraft and wife, Deborah, knew the Jamestown Emergency Center at 4940 Cottonville Road, operated by Miami Valley Hospital, was just about 10 minutes from their house so they headed for care. When they got to the center, the Wheatcrafts found a medical staff of doctors, nurses and others who quickly assessed their patient, initiated treatment for a heart attack and sent him off to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton aboard CareFlight. At MVH, doctors inserted a stent into one of Wheatcraft’s cardiac arteries, clearing a total blockage, relieving his pain and saving his life in the process.
“I’m glad to be here, and glad the Jamestown Emergency Center was over there, because I really believe that place saved my life,” said Wheatcraft today.
Since its grand opening March 26, 2013, the center in eastern Greene County has treated more than 5,000 patients of all ages. The response has exceeded the expectations of everyone involved — Miami Valley Hospital, parent corporation Premier Health, the local medical community and the center’s staff.
Liz Denlinger, a registered nurse and director of nursing for the emergency departments at Jamestown and MVH’s main campus, said Premier built the center because it saw a need in the community for emergency and other medical care.
“People want to have their care close to home and not have to drive all the way to Dayton for it,” she said. “What’s very exciting to see is the appreciation that the community and surrounding communities have shown us. It is not uncommon for folks to stop by and thank us for taking care of them or a loved one. It’s been overwhelming.”
Housed in the Living Water Professional Building, the $6 million facility provides hospital-level emergency services around the clock. It occupies 30,200 square feet of space that includes 10 exam rooms, imaging services (CT, X‐ray and ultrasound) and a medical laboratory. Other services in the building include physical therapy services, a retail pharmacy and a time-share office where medical specialists can see patients.
CareFlight’s mobile intensive care unit (an ambulance outfitted like an intensive care patient room) is based at the facility 24/7, and CareFlight’s medical helicopter can be on the scene in just minutes.
“Providing high quality, life-saving care to the Jamestown community is our mission,” said Dr. Darin Pangalangan, medical director for Jamestown and Miami Valley Hospital South’s emergency departments. “The emergency physicians we staff there are highly skilled doctors. They are the same physicians we staff at Miami Valley Hospital’s downtown Dayton campus, one of the busiest (emergency departments) in the state, and at our south hospital in Centerville.”
Chief Steve Payton of the nearby Silvercreek Township Fire/EMS Department says the center has cut in half his department’s in-service time (the time it takes from dispatch to the time the squad gets back to the station), giving his crew the opportunity to respond to more emergencies.
“I can think of at least five times over the last year where having that center here has saved someone’s life,” Payton said.
Jamestown Mayor Jerrod Pickens said he can’t thank Premier and MVH enough for their investment into his community.
“I have noticed a lot of new folks in town locally and from neighboring communities, and a lot of our visitors are due to that facility,” he said. “Having a local emergency center means a lot, especially to my family. With two small children, we all know how they manage to get injured and it’s a nice feeling knowing that, in an emergency, help is right around the corner.”