Reid Health’s Tuesday announcement that it has purchased a long-empty store in Cambridge City for a larger medical office confirms information swirling in western Wayne County in recent weeks.

The health system recently purchased what’s known as the Alco and CVS building at 1122 Indiana 1 South.

The 27,000-square-foot building houses CVS/Pharmacy, which will remain in its space. Reid Health’s remodel will use about 18,000 square feet.

Reid officials say the former discount store will eventually be the new home of a longtime community physician practice, allowing it to expand to better meet the health care needs of the area.

“We are excited,” said Dr. James Bertsch in a news release. Bertsch has practiced in the community more than 40 years and will relocate Cambridge City Family Medicine to the space sometime in 2020.

“The existing offices, in one of the city’s historic properties, couldn’t handle all the things the practice will be in five or ten years,” he said.

Bertsch called the plan “a smart move,” referring to an increasing demand for health care services in the Cambridge City area.

Craig Kinyon, Reid Health President/CEO, said the expansion reflects the health system’s commitment to providing easily accessible care to the region.

“This will allow us to meet the growing demand and add services to make it possible for patients to remain in their hometown for care,” Kinyon said in the release.

The new offices will expand to 18 patient rooms from the current seven, be able to add X-ray and lab services, and also have bays for the Reid Health Ambulance Service now stationed in Cambridge City after receiving the contract from county commissioners to serve western Wayne County.

Room will be available to add more medical providers – as many as six from the two now – Bertsch and Nurse Practitioner Ramona Orschell.

Rohit Bawa, M.D., who chairs the Reid Health Physician Associates (RHPA) Network Operations Council, said the growing physician network prioritizes providing services in the many regional communities the health system serves.

“And part of that is always ensuring we also offer as many services and technologies as we can in these communities,” Bawa said in the release.

Kelly Beall, vice president/executive director of RHPA, said her team is excited for what the expansion brings to the Cambridge City area.

“The added space will allow for additional services not available at the current location, including a laboratory and other specialists similar to what we offer in other communities,” Beall said in the release.

Reid is currently renovating another long-empty property on Richmond’s west side for senior health care. In November, officials announced the purchase of the former County Market grocery on National Road West.

Work is underway to remodel a portion of it into a Medicare-Medicaid center that includes services such as primary care, audiology, dentistry, optometry, podiatry, speech therapy and adult day services and transportation.

PACE (Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) centers are designed to meet very specific needs for certain community members. They are to provide an alternative to nursing home care for people who are eligible but want to remain in their home as long as possible.

To qualify for PACE, participants must be 55 or older, live within a zip code of a county in the specified service area (Wayne, Fayette, Union, Henry, Randolph and Franklin counties), need a nursing home-level of care (as certified by the state) and be able to live safely in the community with help from PACE.

At the time of the announcement, Reid officials said they were planning for the center to serve patients by the end of 2019.

– By Millicent Martin Emery
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