Carilion Clinic plans to begin treating patients this fall at its new hub for children’s services at Tanglewood Mall.
Carilion Children’s Tanglewood Center, which occupies 150,000 square feet formerly home to a J.C. Penney, is expected to be fully operational by Oct. 4.
Dr. Donald Kees, interim chair of pediatrics, said Carilion has been expanding its pediatric specialty care for years, serving not just the local community, but a wide swath of Southwest Virginia. Many of those specialists were based at Carilion Roanoke Community Hospital, he said, but they lacked a dedicated space of their own.
The new facility at Tanglewood creates a centralized space for Carilion Children’s that allows for more collaboration, establishes a sense of identity and offers high visibility given its location just off U.S. 220, Kees said.
It also improves the patient experience, he said, creating a one-stop shop for families with children who see numerous specialists.
More than a dozen pediatric specialties will be housed at the new center. Additionally, some general pediatric patients will be seen at the facility, where evening and weekend appointments will be available.
Though the facility is dedicated to children, a few practices housed at Tanglewood, such as ENT and dentistry, will also serve adults.
Carilion expects between 250 and 300 employees will work out of the facility and as many as 500 families will cycle through each day, said Betsy Parkins, senior marketing consultant.
Carilion announced the project in September 2019. By last October, Parkins said, the building had been stripped down to the beams, and one year later, patients will be treated there.
In 2019, Carilion estimated it would spend more than $30 million on the project. Updated figures were not available Wednesday.
The space is modern and bright, with certain colors assigned to different types of services. The focus on children is clear: A room for occupational therapy features brightly colored equipment reminiscent of a playground.
Though some spaces on the building’s upper level, such as Carilion’s ENT practice, are accessible from inside the mall, families visiting Carilion Children’s will use a dedicated exterior entrance.
When Carilion first announced its plans, local officials said they hoped it would bring new energy to Tanglewood Mall and the Virginia 419 corridor.
There’s been a good deal of activity there recently. Blackwater Resources, the mall’s Alabama-based owner, has announced this year the construction of outparcel buildings that will bring numerous new tenants, including several eateries, to the retail center.