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Fredericksburg clinic offers greater access to care — and a shorter commute 

VCU Health’s The Park at Snowden is a multispecialty surgical clinic designed to meet the needs of patients in the region who are managing complex medical conditions. 

An exterior shot of VCU Health at Snowden, a brick building

By: Jeff Kelley

One day at her practice in Richmond, Jaime Bohl, M.D., saw four patients who were from Fredericksburg, Virginia. The colorectal surgeon had a light-bulb moment. 

“It seemed like instead of four people driving down to see me, I could drive up to see them,” she said. So she approached VCU Health leaders, who gave her the greenlight to open a small adult surgery practice an hour north. 

Headshot of Dr. Jaime BohlAt that time — 2018 — the only space available was in VCU Health’s pediatric office in Fredericksburg. So Bohl and her colleagues took a few rooms at the pediatric practice and saw adult patients in spaces with kid-size tables and child-friendly décor. 

Nonetheless, her schedule was full. Patients were happy. And, based on the demand for colon and rectal surgery care there, leaders determined they could expand the clinic to more surgical disciplines — and open a dedicated space to do it all. 

In spring 2021, VCU Health opened The Park at Snowden, a multispecialty surgical clinic designed to meet the needs of patients in the region who are managing complex medical conditions. In addition to colorectal surgery, the location — just steps from Mary Washington Hospital — sees pre- and post-operative patients across heart surgery and cardiology, cancer, transplant and liver surgery, urology and vascular surgeries. 

Surgeons and specialists from VCU Medical Center routinely make the drive up Interstate 95 to The Park at Snowden, bringing the Richmond academic medical center’s reputation for quality and innovation to people farther north.

“People are much more willing to make just one drive to Richmond for their surgery and then get all their pre- and post-operative care in Fredericksburg,” said Bohl, who serves as the practice’s medical director. “They are also willing to take a look at VCU Health as an option for care because we are meeting them where they are, in their community, as opposed to requiring them to regularly make a trip to Richmond. 

“Often, patients chose convenience when choosing a provider as they try to squeeze medical care into a busy day. Sometimes this means a patient may forego seeing a specialist or a provider with experience treating complex medical conditions,” she added. “With this location, we’re bringing high-quality care closer to home.”

Minor procedures on-site

Though most surgeries take place at VCU Medical Center in Richmond, Bohl and her team can perform minor procedures in Fredericksburg, including cystoscopy, urinalysis, anoscopy, hemorrhoid banding and hemorrhoidectomy. The team is trained in minimally invasive and robotic techniques for outpatient procedures and more complex surgeries.

 And because the clinic provides multidisciplinary care, specialists work together as a team to customize treatment for each patient.

 “Sometimes I work with urology, or my patient has heart problems and I need cardiology, so it’s good to have those experts on-site,” Bohl said. “At VCU, we’re used to the multidisciplinary care model for patients with unique, complex needs.”

Expert care, closer to home

With The Park at Snowden, Northern Virginia residents have greater access to the care found at VCU Medical Center, ranked the No. 3 hospital in Virginia and among the top 50 in the country for cardiology, heart surgery and urology care. Those rankings consider VCU as “high-performing” in cardiology and heart surgery, cancer, gastroenterology and GI surgery, orthopedics and urology.

 Additionally, the site offers pre- and post-operative transplant care through the health care system’s Hume-Lee Transplant Center. It is the longest running transplant program on the East Coast and the second oldest in the U.S. Hume-Lee breaks its own records each year in the number of lives saved, with liver transplants leading the way.

 For Bohl, The Park at Snowden has become a successful model for taking surgical care into communities beyond the Richmond area. And, she said, it allows her to get to know other providers in the region and develop relationships and better coordinate patient care with them.

 “Patients and the medical community have achieved good control of medical conditions, and that makes it much easier for us to offer them a lot of options for surgical management,” she said. “And I really have fun going up to Fredericksburg every week. I call it a ‘field trip’ away from the hustle and bustle of our large academic medical center.”

 Appointments are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at VCU Health’s multidisciplinary surgical clinic in Fredericksburg. For phone numbers and more, visit vcuhealth.org/snowden.

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