A ribbon cutting ceremony was held early Thursday morning at the medical office of Dr. James S. McGrath in the Yadkin Physicians’ area of the former Yadkin Valley Community Hospital at 624 W. Main St. in Yadkinville. McGrath’s most recent practice was under Yadkin Valley Community Hospital, and when the hospital shut down in May, so did the practice.
McGrath welcomed everyone and thanked them for attending the ceremony.
“It’s been a long time, it’s been a learning process,” he said. “Things will gradually wind up over the next couple of weeks and we’ll be back to where we were before.”
Most of all, McGrath said he was just glad to be back.
As the ceremony was about to begin, the first patient of the day had already arrived. McGrath said all of the appointments scheduled so far were former patients of the practice, but he will also be accepting new patients.
In a press release prior to the opening, McGrath said, “Everyone with the new practice is looking forward to getting back to work, and we all hope that this is just the first step in resolving all of the issues associated with the hospital closure.”
McGrath is now scheduling appointments and may be contacted at 336-462-9623 until his phone system is installed. Patients are asked to leave a message and someone will return the call.
Yadkin County Chamber of Commerce Director Bobby Todd said that in the last three weeks they had received more calls about the physician’s office than the new Yadkin Memorial Park and lake or the upcoming Grape Festival.
“We’re just very excited that Dr. McGrath is back and this is just another step in the process of reopening the hospital,” said County Manager Lisa Hughes who was on hand for the ceremony.
Hughes said in mid-October the county should be receiving the reports back from two healthcare agencies they have contracted with the to present solutions to reopening the hospital.
“Then we’re going to put together a marketing plan from there and get that ball rolling,” she said.
Todd said an open house for the physician’s practice would likely be scheduled soon.
“This is another important step in the restoration of healthcare to the citizens of Yadkin County,” said Yadkin County Commissioner Chairman Kevin Austin in a press statement prior to the reopening of McGrath’s practice.
According to the press release, McGrath was born in Colorado, but raised in Kansas. He attended medical school at Tulane University School of Medicine and completed his residency at Moses Cone Memorial Hospital in Greensboro. He is certified by the American Board of Family Practice and has been affiliated with Lula Conrad Hoots Memorial Hospital, Durham Regional Hospital, UNC Hospitals, Duke University Hospital, Hoots Memorial Hospital and Yadkin Valley Community Hospital.
Heather Grant, family nurse practitioner, also will be joining the practice. Grant was also associated with Yadkin Physicians prior to the abrupt closure of the hospital facility by the former hospital operator.
McGrath also will have admitting privileges at Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital in Elkin.
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.