Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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April 10, 2014

Doc T. honored at ribbon cutting ceremony

BLUEFIELD — An upgrade in local medical care was celebrated Wednesday along with a local physician known throughout the community for his dedication to patient care.

Local dignitaries and medical professionals marked the completion of Bluefield Regional Medical Center’s new critical care unit (CCU) with a ribbon cutting ceremony that also honored the retired physician for whom it was named, Dr. John Brookins Taylor, also known to many Bluefield residents as Doc T.

Bill Hawley, CEO of BRMC, welcomed the guests filling one of the CCU’s hallways. “It means a lot to us to have this great turnout for this dedication,” he said.

“Why did we build this unit? I think anybody who had ever been in our existing unit, you know very well why we did it. For those of you who didn’t, we’re moving out of what I would call original construction from 1978,” Hawley said.

The appearance of the old units did not reflect the quality of the care that was provided in them, Hawley said. The hospital and the local medical community have gone through a transformation in the past few years.

“Not many hospitals can talk about growth in this environment, and we are fortunate to have this growth,” he said. “It is a very modern, beautiful unit, and we are pleased to serve our patients and our physicians with this unit. This unit also demonstrates our commitment to this region. This is a $5.1 million project, and after this year, this hospital will have invested approximately $30 million into capital projects in this facility to serve this community and the region.”

The new CCU is a “beautiful unit with state of the art equipment,” said Dr. Robert Edwards, BRMC chief of staff. The facility is also a more comfortable setting for patients’ families.

 “From a physician’s standpoint, we’re really appreciative of this because it helps us take care of our critical care patients better,” Edwards said.

The unit has 17 beds, and allows the staff to focus more on effective control, patient privacy and patient comfort,” said David Rumley, RN, BSN, clinical director of cardiac services.

“Our staff has always strived to provide quality care to all our patients, and as modern medicine has advanced, we have advanced as well,” he stated.

Local leaders said they valued the hospital and the services it provides to their communities.

“I really appreciate the relationship the city has with Bluefield Regional,” said Mayor Tom Cole of Bluefield, who recalled visiting the unit while it was under construction. “This is certainly an incredible enhancement.”

Mayor Don Harris of neighboring Bluefield, Va., said the hospital was an important part of the area.

“The most valuable asset in any community is its hospital,” Harris stated. “Shortly after Mr. Hawley arrived, I visited him with our town manager. He was most gracious to listen to us and hear our concerns. He outlined his plans for the hospital. Mr. Hawley, you far exceeded exactly what you said to us.”

“Our hospital is only 10 minutes and over two mountains from here,” said Mayor Louise Stoker of Bramwell. “We can be here in a heartbeat and to have this new facility here is wonderful for us.”

Dr. Michael Malamisura said Taylor was “instrumental” in the transition between the former Bluefield Sanitarium and Bluefield Regional Medical Center. For Taylor, patient care was always a priority.

Taylor was presented with a copy of the plaque now on display at the new CCU. He cut the ribbon dedicating the center and triumphantly raised the ceremonial scissors as he smiled. He was also presented a birthday cake celebrating his 87th birthday on Monday. Taylor’s sons thanked the hospital and community on behalf of their father.

“This is an honor,” said David Taylor, who attended Wednesday’s ceremony with his brother, Peter. “For this community to do this for him is tremendous, and it’s such a nice facility. He’s absolutely ecstatic.”

Born in Bluefield in 1927, Taylor attended Greenbrier Military School in Lewisburg, Ron Satterfield, BRMC board chairman, told the guests. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1945 during his freshman year at Washington & Lee University. He served with the U.S 8th Army’s occupation force in Yokohama, Japan before returning to the university. After graduating from Washington & Lee in 1950, he was drafted into the U.S. Air Force and served in Germany as a captain in the 8th Air Force.

Taylor began his private practice in internal medicine in Bluefield in 1960 and continued until 2009. During this time, he was closely associated with the Bluefield Sanitarium, now known as Bluefield Regional Medical Center.

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