Julie Geiger, Pioneer Health Services, Stuart

Pioneer Health Services of Patrick County was begun in Stuart, Virginia, in early 2009 by Pioneer Health Services, Inc., a for-profit hospital company headquartered in Magee, MS. The building itself was the former R. J. Reynolds Hospital, which had experienced a business failure and closed some time earlier.

Pioneer originally leased the hospital on a monthly basis with an option to buy the facility for $1,025,000. After several months, Pioneer agreed to purchase the facility, believing that Patrick County would support the hospital if it was properly managed and could provide the level of care that patients expected from a modern community hospital. Pioneer requested financing in the amount of $1,940,000, which included the $1,025,000 purchase price and a $915,000 working capital facility.

As opposed to conventional financing, Virginia Community Capital arranged a VCC/CCB loan of $1,500,000 and the Tobacco Indemnification Commission provided a $440,000 grant to complete the purchase. This unique financing arrangement enabled Patrick County to overcome a major economic development hurdle as there was no other hospital in Patrick County and the nearest other hospital was in Martinsville, more than 30 miles away.

In the first year of operation (2009), gross revenue was $9,100,000 and beginning staff totaled 35 employees. In 2013, gross revenue was $20,800,000 and total employees reached 140. Profit margins have run from 1.5% to 2% of gross revenue each year in business.

Even more impressive has been the number of physician services added since inception. Specialists include Family Medicine, Mid-levels, Psychiatrist, Nephrologist, Cardiologist, Orthopedist, and General Surgeon. 22 additional hospital services have been added, ranging from acute care to athletic training.

At the present time renovations are underway which include a new Emergency Room, renovated patient rooms, lobby renovations, patient registration area renovations and radiology renovations.

The Martinsville SBDC helped to arrange the financing necessary to make Pioneer Community Hospital happen. It has been a win-win-win situation for Pioneer Community Hospital, Patrick County, and Virginia Community Capital.  We can’t help but feel a sense of pride each time I look at what a fine health facility it has become.

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