Inpatient Wing Completes Davie Medical Center

The Carter family was front and center among hundreds of people when Wake Forest Baptist Health – Davie Medical Center celebrated the opening of its new, 50-bed inpatient wing during a Community Day event Saturday, April 1.

Renee Carter and her husband, Marty, watched proudly, and not just because their daughter, Paige, conducted the Davie High School trumpet choir, and son, Luke, played in it. Rather, the opening of the inpatient wing made them proud for their community, they said.

“Being able to have local access without crossing the river can save lives,” Marty Carter said.

“It’s tremendous,” Renee Carter said. “We don’t have to go out of the county to get the medical care we need. This completes the county.”

Davie Medical Center has offered a growing number of outpatient services, as well as care at its 24/7 emergency department since it opened in October 2013. The inpatient wing brings a new focus on key health areas—especially for a county with strong growth projection in its older population.

Care Units with Key Specialties

The inpatient wing has separate floors devoted to acute care for the elderly (ACE) and joint replacement, as well as additional medical-surgical beds for other inpatient medical needs.

“We don’t want this to be just any other hospital unit,” said Dr. Richard Wyderski, medical director of the ACE unit. “We will not only be taking care of older patients, but paying attention to the little things that improve the patient and family experience during acute illness.”

Patients admitted to the ACE unit may have pneumonia, abnormalities in blood tests or other issues. Wyderski said his team will work closely with emergency department doctors and nurses to ensure smooth transitions to overnight care.

Dr. John Shields, an orthopaedic surgeon, said the goal in the total joint replacement unit is to make diagnosis, surgery and recovery convenient for patients and family members.

“We are providing destination care for joint replacement, including our clinic, lab, physical therapy and surgery all under one roof in a central location with a cohesive team,” Shields said. “We’re really rolling out the red carpet, with white-glove service.”

Inpatients at Davie Medical Center stay in rooms with the latest medical and comfort technologies. Patient rooms feature large windows overlooking a lush campus, and wide interior corridors leave plenty of space for visiting family and friends. 

The inpatient wing also has a cafeteria and a chapel, as well as indoor and outdoor quiet spaces and three walking paths.

Rev. Adam Ridenhour, staff chaplain, said that from the start, Davie Medical Center has put a spotlight on patient- and family-centered care.

“For me that’s the pivotal point of good pastoral care,” he said. “It’s about listening to our patients, bringing them into the decision-making and honoring that they care for themselves along with their family, and we are honored to have the privilege of being part of that care team, too.”

Tribute to Past, Care for the Future

The inpatient wing addition complements Davie Medical Center’s variety of outpatient services and emergency department, which is off I-40 at Exit 180 in Bermuda Run. The completion of the inpatient wing also led to the decommissioning of the original Davie County Hospital, which opened in 1956 in Mocksville.

Terry Bralley, president of the Davie County Economic Development Commission, said the opening of a new hospital tied to an academic medical center, combined with the county building a new high school, makes Davie County “the envy of all rural communities in North Carolina and maybe the country.”

He credited county residents who wore T-shirts and put magnets on their vehicles in support of Davie Medical Center when the project was being debated nearly 10 years ago by state officials. He also thanked the dozens of medical center employees who served through the years in Mocksville, nearly all of whom have joined the new medical center in Bermuda Run.

At Community Day, many people paid tribute to the more than 60 years of local medical care in Davie County. Many also visited a history display in the new inpatient wing. The display contains old records, equipment and mementoes from Davie County Hospital, as well as videos of former employees discussing their memories from the early days.

“This has always been a tight knit community,” said Rev. Thomas Nesbit, who served as the last chaplain at the Mocksville facility. “Having a hospital in Mocksville in the ‘50s showed how much neighbors cared. It was a sign of cohesiveness in Davie.”

Bill Junker is a former Davie Medical Center board member whose father served as treasurer on the original Davie County Hospital board. He thanked Wake Forest Baptist for following through with its promise to maintain a medical center in Davie County.

Junker said health care may be even more important now than it was when his father was signing weekly checks for hospital employees back in the late 1950s.

“People are more sensitive to their health care, to their diet, to their exercise program, and are more committed to trying to do the right things to extend their lives,” Junker said. “To have a medical center to support the health needs of the community is necessary for growth.”