Health and Medicine

A regional healthcare provider based in Salem has announced a new CEO for its medical center, WFIR’s Camden Lazenby has more:

HCA Virginia has named Alan Fabian, who was the chief executive officer of LewisGale Hospital Montgomery, to lead the LewisGale Regional Health System as market president and LewisGale Medical Center chief executive officer. Fabian has been with HCA Healthcare since 1995. Outgoing market president Lance Jones has resigned and is pursuing a career outside of the acute care industry, according to a LewisGale spokesman.

SALEM, VA. (April 19, 2022) — HCA Virginia has tapped Alan Fabian, formerly the chief executive officer of LewisGale Hospital Montgomery, to lead the LewisGale Regional Health System as market president and LewisGale Medical Center chief executive officer. Fabian has been with HCA Healthcare since 1995, serving in senior leadership roles in several Louisiana hospitals and since 2013 at LewisGale Hospital Montgomery.

“We are pleased to tap Alan into this market-wide president position,” said Tim McManus, HCA Capital Division president. “Alan has been very successful building strong hospital cultures which have driven exceptional quality, patient experience scores and engaged hospital teams. He has also developed strong community relationships by participating on the boards of directors for many non-profit organizations, including playing a strategic role with the New River Valley Health task force.”

Durian Fabian’s tenure at LewisGale Hospital Montgomery, the hospital significantly grew by developing service lines to meet community needs and recruiting physicians to the New River Valley. The hospital also completed several large capital projects to better serve its patients, including, most recently, a $16 million surgical services renovation that is expected to be completed in 2023.

“I am excited for this new opportunity to lead the LewisGale system,” said Fabian. “I have grown to love southwest Virginia, and this new role allows me to continue to serve the communities of this region and ensure they have access to world-class healthcare close to home.”

The four-hospital LewisGale Regional Health System provides care throughout southwest Virginia,including LewisGale Hospital Montgomery, LewisGale Hospital Pulaski, LewisGale Hospital Alleghany, and LewisGale Medical Center.

BEDFORD, Va. (AP) — Local officials are citing the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare workers among reasons for selling a county-owned nursing home.  The Bedford County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to hold a special meeting to consider selling the nursing home. The nursing home was established as the County Poor Farm in 1831.

Media reports state that county officials are considering selling the facility to Roanoke-based American HealthCare LLC. County officials released a statement saying that with an increasing regulatory environment surrounding nursing homes, industry experts who specialize in healthcare compliance, rather than local government officials with no such expertise, are in a better position to make decisions.

The statement also noted that the COVID-19 pandemic further prompted local officials to explore their options, and that the vaccine mandate for healthcare employees is “contrary to the positions of all board members” and has complicated uniformity in how county employees are treated.

A potent batch of opioid drugs circulating through the Roanoke region has led to an uptick in overdoses and deaths in recent weeks, according to advocates in the addiction field. In conjunction with the online news source, the Roanoke Rambler, WFIR’s Taylor Sherrill has that story.17

Leah Haymaker (right) with her E-sight goggles. Submitted photo.

A gradual loss of central eye vision from something called Stargardt Disease has been regained for one Clifton Forge resident via a high-tech set of goggles that looks like something out of “Star Trek-Generations.” More from WFIR’s Gene Marrano:


Dr. Cynthia Morrow/VDH-VT photo

The FDA has now approved a 4th dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine for COVID-19, for those 50-plus. Roanoke City and Alleghany health districts director Dr. Cynthia Morrow said this morning while the vaccines are not the “perfect tool” as far as eliminating any chance of infection, they have been proven to reduce the worst symptoms of COVID-19 in many cases.


Photo: Virginia Tech

After about two years of delivering a weekly virtual news conference on the state of the COVID-19 pandemic in the New River Health District, director Noelle Bissell conducted her last scheduled one today. There were a lot of lessons learned over the past two years says Bissell.  As COVID-19 transitions from “pandemic” to “endemic” Bissell says the local health district looks to focus on other issues, including bringing immunizations up to date for local school children.