By Mary Wade Burnside
Times West Virginian
Children now have their own space at the Monongahela Valley Association of Health Centers Fairmont Clinic.
The MVA Pediatric Center opened Friday, giving the clinic’s patients under the age of 18 their own building where they will be treated.
The two-story, 9,800-square-foot building is adjacent to the MVA Fairmont Clinic on Locust Avenue.
“I think it’s clinically appropriate to separate the two,” said Eric Pulice, administrator of the clinic. “For example, you wouldn’t want an elderly patient, who are more susceptible, to be mixed in with the pediatric population, who pick up an illness from school every day.”
In 2012, 44 percent of the MVA Fairmont Clinic’s patients were under 18 years old, Pulice said. The number of pediatric patients who received services that year was 4,456.
“We’ve always had a large pediatric practice, so giving them their own space makes sense,” he added.
The project cost $4,065,400, most of which — $3,892,450 — came from federal funds. The funds came from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Affordable Care Act. The grant was announced in October 2010 and ground was broken for the facility in November 2011, with those in attendance including U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va.
The project was slated to be completed last September, but Pulice said weather was an issue in getting the building done in time.
Clinic space is located on the bottom floor. Four pediatricians will be able to treat patients in eight exam rooms. There also is a waiting room and a consultation area downstairs.