Ground was broken at Mountain Laurel Medical Center in Oakland for a two-story, 4,700-square-foot addition.

The center’s board of directors and staff members, Garrett County Chamber of Commerce members and others attended a ground-breaking ceremony Friday morning.

“We’re very excited to be here today, as we see more expansion happening in our health-care industry in Garrett County,” said Nicole Christian, the chamber’s president/CEO. “This is good news for all of us — for all of our residents and everyone who visits here.”

She said Mountain Laurel Health Center has become a critical aspect by delivering quality health care in Garrett County.

Located along Memorial Drive, Mountain Laurel’s main facility opened in 2006. The new addition will house five more exam rooms, a behavioral therapy room and clinical lab on the first floor.

The second level will feature a 2,200-square-foot conference room, which will include an education area and a kitchenette, where diabetic cooking classes will be held.

CEO Charles Wilt anticipates the project will be completed by the end of this year.

“I happen to come here; my family comes here” to Mountain Laurel, County Commissioner Jim Hinebaugh said. “I can tell you I’ve always been treated well. Their services are great. You get individual attention. This expansion is a great thing.”

He noted a 2,500-square-foot satellite office opened a few years ago in Grantsville.

Another office is planned for McCoole. This 8,000-square-foot facility will offer services similar to those in Oakland, only on a smaller scale.

Hinebaugh also pointed to Mountain Laurel’s Oakland office employing 66 people.

“That’s significant,” he said.

“It’s great that we have local contractors working on this project — Gosnell Builders, Byco and others,” Commissioner Larry Tichnell said. “It’s great to keep it in the community.”

He thanked Mountain Laurel for being part of the healthcare community.

“It’s always a good day when you have a ribbon cutting,” said Michael Hough, the county’s new economic development director. “I’ve always said going in to metropolitan areas, it’s good to see cranes. But when you’re in rural areas, it’s always good to see backhoes working. Congratulations.”

Mountain Laurel board chairman Smokey Stanton pointed out that not only is the center expanding, it’s also meeting a need.

“That’s not the most important part,” he said about the physical building. “That’s infrastructure. The really important part is the delivery system, the actual care that people receive.”

Stanton said representatives from the federal government’s Health Resources and Service Administration completed a three-day site visit the day before the groundbreaking.

“There were 93 different criteria that they looked at,” the chairman said. “Charles and our staff scored 100 percent on all 93.”

He indicated the center was there to make sure the local community has access to quality health care.

“Your presence here shows the support that we continue to receive from the community, local government, board of directors and our local partners,” Wilt said, noting LAI is the project architect. “I think it’s really important for our community to build a healthcare infrastructure that supports the people who have been in the community for a long time.”

As a lifelong resident of Garrett County, Wilt said he was proud to be a part of the growth in local healthcare.

Mountain Laurel’s mission is to “provide quality, safe, accessible primary health care, wellness promotion, and education to all individuals in Garrett and surrounding areas, regardless of the patient’s ability to pay.”

Press Release from the Garrett County Republican: https://www.wvnews.com/garrettrepublican/news/ground-broken-for-mountain-laurel-medical-center-expansion/article_a547261d-2f9d-5457-9ade-40b279169992.html

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