Positive vibes and a sense of excitement during challenging and questionable times highlighted a Sept. 16 ribbon cutting ceremony for the Novant Health UVA Health System Outpatient Imaging Center in Culpeper.

Culpeper Chamber of Commerce President Jeff Say said the new imaging center “fills a need in our community that has been expressed for decades - that people in Culpeper want to stay in Culpeper when they want to come and get their imaging done.”

Numerous public officials, chamber members, imaging center employees and construction team members took part in the brief presentation, which was followed by several small group tours of the center.

Erin Acosta, the center’s office administrator, said “the new MRI will be an upgrade for the community and a first in the area.”

Donna Staton, president of the Novant Health UVA Health System Culpeper Medical Center, said the community now has a safer option for its needs. She added during the ceremony that, in addition to meeting all general imaging needs, the new center houses an area focused on the specialized imaging needs of women.

“Today marks the beginning of a new era for healthcare in our community and for years to come,” Staton said.

Susan Hawkins, senior director of operations with Outpatient Imaging Affiliates, underscored during a tour that the nice-sized rooms with state-of-the-art equipment are designed to make patients feel calm.

The center also has a staff break room, a tech work area and a tech reading room where scans and tests are read. Since the center provides mammograms and biopsies, Hawkins explained a consult room provides a private setting where procedures are explained to patients.

Offering a full range of diagnostic and screening radiology services, there are two ultrasound rooms, one for mammography, one for bone densitometry, one for CT scans, one for x-ray and one for MRI.

Another office “serves as command central,” Hawkins explained, where “these folks talk to physicians, schedule patients and provide results on the phone.”

“They don’t get enough credit,” she said of those employees.

Partitions have also been added in the lobby as COVID-19 safeguards. Additionally, there is a small refreshment area that is currently not in use.

Pamela Bridgett, a business office employee, worked in the back of Medical Imaging when it was located at Culpeper Hospital.

“It’s peaceful, quiet and busy. It’s a good location. I really like it here,” she said of the new location.

Lantz Construction Company Project Manager Eldon Sonifrank explained the center’s architectural and design plans began two years ago while demolition began in February 2020.

“It is beautiful,” he said at the ribbon cutting. “I am very pleased with the way it turned out.”

The center officially opened Aug. 16 while the MRI opened Sept. 14.

Ashley Carter, director of special projects for Culpeper Regional Hospital, said the price point for coming to the imaging center versus the hospital is a big benefit, as costs are at least 50% less.

Novant Health UVA Health System Outpatient Imaging Center, 509 Main St., is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m Monday-Friday.

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