Salem, VA, January, 2014 – LewisGale has launched an online petitionto generate support for its new application for a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at LewisGale Medical Center. The NICU would reduce the number of babies who must be transferred to another hospital after birth. Currently, babies even needing the most basic NICU services must to be transported, often before the mother can be discharged safely.

This is LewisGale’s third request for a certificate of public need for the NICU. Public support is critical to the success of the most recent application to show the State Health Commissioner the magnitude of Virginians who believe in the necessity of this project. Since LewisGale’s initial application in 2010, obstetrical services and volumes have increased significantly at the medical center.

If the request is approved, the medical center will construct a neonatal unit that will include eight specialty bassinets. This addition would enable LewisGale to care for the majority of sick and premature babies born at its facilities that are currently transferred to other hospitals.

The public is encouraged to go to and sign the online petition and leave comments for the Commissioner.

About LewisGale Regional Health System

LewisGale Regional Health System includes 44 HCA-owned patient care facilities including 4 hospitals, 2 regional cancer centers and a multidisciplinary cancer clinic, 6 outpatient centers and affiliations with nearly 700 physicians, including 146 employed providers and more than 500 independent physicians.  With 3,300 employees, its annual payroll is $230.1 million. The system also paid $41 million in taxes and provided more than $106 million in uncompensated care to those most in need in 2012 alone.  LewisGale is also part of HCA Virginia, the largest and most comprehensive healthcare provider in the Commonwealth with nearly 15,000 employees.  For more information see