Piedmont Access to Health Services — PATHS — held a “capping off” ceremony at its new expansion Wednesday, celebrating an important milestone in the construction of the 9,000-square-foot addition: the beginning of enclosing the building.

The framing and roof is done and work is beginning on the interior — but before the walls begin to be capped off, friends, staff, supporters and the construction team were invited to sign a support wall.

As Danville Mayor Sherman Saunders headed to the wall carrying a marker, PATHS CEO Kay Crane commented, “Leave a message! A hundred years from now, someone will say, ‘Who is Mayor Sherman Saunders?’”

The crowd of about 50 people laughed when she added, “Someone will say, ‘Yeah, I know him well.’”

The expansion — being built onto the existing 16,000-square-foot facility — allows the center to broaden PATHS’ pediatric services to include diagnosis, treatment and medication management for children’s behavioral health issues such as attention deficit disorder, autism or anxiety, Crane said.

Crane said there are limited services for such conditions in the Dan River Region, particularly in the area of diagnosis.

“There are places where kids can get treatment, but we’ll do diagnoses and medication management as well,” Crane said.

The new addition also will provide space to enlarge the pharmacy, create a conference/training room and two children’s waiting rooms — which will keep sick and well children apart — separate from adult patients.

Joan Mason, chair of PATHS’ board of directors, said she was looking forward to seeing the addition open.

“It’s so exciting to be able to have a new facility and services,” Mason said. “We have some of the greatest pediatricians.”

The crowd applauded when Crane announced that Mason had been named the volunteer of the year by the Virginia Community Healthcare Association and Liz Hagan, a family nurse practitioner at PATHS, named provider of the year.

Crane thanked the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for the $2.4 million grant that made the project possible, as well as Virginia Community Capital for a loan to put the finishing touches on the project.

“This is community development at its finest,” Dawn DeHart, senior vice president of Virginia Community Capital, said. “We’re a community development lender and glad to be a part of this project’s financing.”

Saunders told the group he and other city leaders are glad to see PATHS growing and expanding its services.

“You do a lot for people in our region,” Saunders said. “The need in our city and our region is great … PATHS is needed.”

The addition is expected to be completed in December.


(Posted: May 28, 2014 6:15 am at www.godanriver.com / Story by: Denice Thiodeu)