Alan Fabian CEO LewisGale Medical Center. G Marrano photos

An 11 year-plus battle to obtain a Certificate of Public Need from the General Assembly behind them, LewisGale Medical Center broke ground today on a 6-bed, 2.5 million dollar NICU for premature infants who can stay at the same hospital as their mothers. Carilion Clinic had opposed the LewisGale Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for years, saying it had more than enough capacity to meet those needs. After several failed votes the new COPN made it through the General Assembly. The NICU in Salem should open by early next summer. Dr. John Harding is the Director of Mother-Baby services Rendering