Health Care

Cape Fear Valley Health Medical Center prepares for renovation and expansion of OR; New orthopedic residency program underway with Womack Army Medical Center

By Faith Hatton, posted 1 month ago
Photo pulled from pexels.com. Taken by Anna Shvets

Cape Fear Valley Medical Center is getting ready to start an expansion project for its operating room environment thanks to a $14 million grant from the state. 

Cape Fear Valley Health (CFVH) performs 30,000 operations annually. These procedures are spread across 15 operating rooms operating at full capacity. These operating rooms include space for trauma, open heart, orthopedics, neurosurgery, general surgery and more. 

Now, more space is being added specifically to meet the needs of CFVH’s orthopedic residency program which they operate in partnership with Womack Army Medical Center. This partnership was created as the result of CFVH recently entering a relationship with the Department of Defense through Fort Liberty. 

“We will be training the next generation of orthopedic surgeons here at Cape Fear Valley and Cape Fear Valley is uniquely positioned because we have a wide array of orthopedic procedures and that’s what made us such a unique partner for the Department of Defense,” said CFVH CEO Michael Nagowski. “Womack has a great orthopedic program also, but they predominantly do injuries. So the relationship between both of us, we’re really excited about.” 

While the program, which officially kicked off in the summer of 2023, started with four orthopedic residents, Nagowski shared that the goal is to continue adding residents every year as the inaugural class completes their requirements. The first residents, two civilians and two from the military, reflect the partnership that created the program which is intended to have half of the residents be civilians and the other half military.

“They will work hand in glove together. An orthopedic residency takes five years to complete so in five years, this first group will become independent orthopedic physicians and every year we will add four. So, over the course of the next five years, there will be a total of 20 residents that will be in the program at any one point in time,” shared Nagowski. 

According to Nagowski, CFVH is currently operating at maximum capacity after adding on additional services such as their trauma program and offering additional cardiac and vascular surgeries. 

Plans for expansion include two additional rooms that will be dedicated to the orthopedic residency program, along with expanded pre-surgical and post-surgical areas and storage rooms for surgical supplies and equipment. 

“When you have 20 residents, all in a learning mode, they need their own space. Where are they going to keep their stuff and where are they going to meet to review cases? When Cape Fear Valley was built 50-60 years ago, we weren’t built to do all of that, so we have to add all of that in terms of space and facilities and technology,” said Nagowski. 

The operating room expansion and renovation is a separate project from the ongoing $110 million building expansion project that is in process. 

Construction on the OR is currently planned to begin in late summer of 2024 following the completion of the larger facility project. 

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