In The News

West Chester Hospital grows at strong pace

West Chester Hospital

By Chelsey Levingston


Since opening in 2009, West Chester Hospital has become one of the Cincinnati region’s fastest growing hospitals, said President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Kevin Joseph.

Butler County’s youngest hospital was built with room to grow and positioned in a growing population center along Interstate 75 between two cities.

The hospital is registered for 160 inpatient beds but didn’t open all of the patient rooms until last year. Increasing awareness of the new hospital and growing patient volumes led hospital officials to open Oct. 2012 the remaining 36 patient rooms on the building’s fourth floor, Joseph said.

“The whole hospital’s now open,” Joseph said.

The hospital, owned by Cincinnati health system UC Health, also added two operating rooms in 2012 for a total nine. UC Health is affiliated with University of Cincinnati.

Four additional operating rooms are located at the UC Health Surgical Hospital on the West Chester Twp. medical campus, off University Drive.

Thanks to added services and growing volumes, the emergency department bustled with about 31,600 patient visits in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2012, according to the hospital. Patients admitted to the hospital grew to more than 7,000 admissions last fiscal year.

Growing patient volumes led to higher hospital revenues fiscal year 2012 of approximately $397 million. Revenues swelled more than 200 percent from revenues the year before of about $125 million.

Almost 160 new jobs were added at the hospital last year for 602 full-time equivalent employees as of the end of 2012.

“Anytime you open up, whether it’s Home Depot or a hospital, there’s going to be a need to get the word out,” Joseph said. “When we first opened up it was more scheduled (patient admissions), but we’re seeing a lot of unscheduled admissions. The intensive care unit is growing rapidly.”

West Chester Hospital brings “easy access to highly specialized care,” he said.

The hospital offers cancer and emergency services, but not open heart surgery or maternity, officials said.

New to West Chester Hospital in 2013, and the biggest project happening at the campus, is a multi-disciplinary women’s health center opening in April, Joseph said. The center will be located on the top floor of the medical office building attached to the hospital. It consumes the medical office building’s entire fourth floor, previously empty space, said hospital spokesman Grant Wenzel.

Dr. Lisa Larkin, director of the UC Health Women’s Center, said it is an outpatient primary and specialty care center. Services to be offered are: women’s primary care; menopause consultations; internal medicine subspecialties, obstetric services; gynecology; breast center and surgical subspecialties; plastic surgery and skin care; mental health services; women’s executive health program; endocrine, diabetes and bone center; and an integrative medicine program.

“There is a clear need for integrated delivery of health care services for women. I believe having comprehensive medical care furthers the medical home concept,” Larkin said in an interview at the end of 2012.

There are only a handful of women’s health centers in the country with the same integrated services, Joseph said.

West Chester Twp. made a good location for the women’s center because it’s “a high traffic area.”

“The UC Physicians, it’s a very large group, it’s very specialized, and that’s why you’re able to do it. Other systems or other areas of the country may not be able to do it because they don’t have a collective group of 800 specialists that they can pick from to create such a center,” Joseph said.