There are new signs around Bedford Memorial Hospital. A healthcare system called Centra now has full ownership. The town manager told us the change will help Bedford's economy.
"It's a real good asset and a big thing for the town," says Charles Kolakowski, town manager. "We think there will be a renewed focus on the hospital."
Several million dollars will be invested in the hospital and more services will be available for people who live nearby. Before, the hospital was co-owned by Centra and Carilion, but earlier this year Centra paid $11 million to Carilion for the whole facility.
The take over means Centra will invest more money in the next several years. Centra will be spending $1.5 to $2 million each year for the next three to five years in upgrades. This includes new computer programs and equipment which employees are learning about this week.
Over in the patient's rooms, all the beds are getting replaced.
In addition to improvements, more Centra employees will be walking through the hallways.
"We've been actively recruiting so we've known for the past six months that Bedford would be joining the Centra system and so I think that's going to be also one of the changes patients can see," says Diane Riley, Centra spokesperson.