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Inova Fairfax Medical Campus patient drop-off (staff photo by James Jarvis)

Inova Health Systems is working to boost the capacity of its emergency room in Merrifield with the help of a $10 million gift from the co-founder of an international IT consulting firm.

The nonprofit announced last Thursday (March 21) that it received the planned gift commitment from Apex Systems co-founder Win Sheridan. The money will go to Inova’s Greatest Needs fund, which is administered by its CEO to support “critical projects and initiatives.”

Right now, those critical projects include a $161 million expansion of Inova Fairfax Hospital’s emergency department, the Washington Business Journal reported.

“Every gift to our Greatest Needs fund is a vote of confidence in our team, our shared vision and our enduring ability to care for our community,” Inova CEO and President Dr. J. Stephen Jones said in a press release. “Win’s commitment takes this a step further, with the conviction that Inova is the right partner to entrust with this most important task — the health of our community, now and into the future.”

Inova Health Foundation President and Chief Philanthropy Officer Sage Bolte told the WBJ that the expansion will help ease “surges in patient volumes” at the 923-bed hospital (3300 Gallows Road), which currently has limited space for patients to get care in private bays.

According to the WBJ, the expansion will include renovations, and the first phase is expected to be completed this year.

A venture capitalist who currently works as a partner in Alexandria Restaurant Partners, Sheridan co-founded Apex Systems in 1995 and later started his own investment firm, BDW Investments LLC. Apex is headquartered in Glen Allen, Virginia, but it has an office in Fairview Park, just on the other side of I-495 from Inova’s Fairfax campus.

According to Inova, Sheridan also donated $1 million in 2021 to create the Sheridan Director, Molecular Tumor Board (MTB) at the Inova Schar Cancer Institute. The board helps match people with rare or recurring advanced cancers with personalized treatment.

“When you’re battling a serious disease, having world-class care that you don’t have to travel for makes all the difference,” Sheridan, an Alexandria native, said. “At the end of the day, I want Inova to continue providing the best possible care, if and when it’s needed by me, by my family, my friends, my community.”

Recently rebranded with a new logo, Inova is expanding its Franconia-Springfield HealthPlex campus with a planned hospital and developing a new campus in Alexandria, replacing the former Landmark Mall. The health care system has said it hopes to begin construction on both projects this year.

In addition to building up its campuses, Inova has been working to add services in the community, opening additional urgent care centers around Fairfax County and a pediatric sick clinic near Seven Corners earlier this year.

Inova Center for Personalized Health (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

The University of Virginia is expanding its presence in Fairfax County.

The Charlottesville-based institution will add a new site for its Northern Virginia campus next year in Merrifield, where it has leased 55,000 square feet at the Inova Center for Personalized Health (8095 Innovation Park Drive), the Washington Business Journal reported last week.

According to the WBJ, UVA will move into the second and third floors of Building C on Inova’s campus, which opened in 2015 and features a conference center, a sports medicine hub, a fitness and rehab center, and cancer services in the Schar Cancer Institute. Designated for office and educational uses, Building C already hosts health care programs for Shenandoah University.

Intended to serve the university’s significant base of students from the D.C. area, UVA Northern Virginia’s Fairfax site will house a variety of degree programs as well as classes for high school students and workforce training, the WBJ says:

The university’s new space, slated to open in January, would serve as a D.C.-area base for programs across the university’s schools and departments, such as master’s degrees in health or engineering. It’s also designed to serve as a hub for education beyond its degree programs: classes for high schoolers in creative writing, forensic science and coding set for this summer; or, perhaps, trainings for companies, in which employers would cover the costs for their employees.

The site will also be used as a space for testing new programs that could later be expanded to other campuses.

“The populations are different,” UVA Northern Virginia Dean and CEO Gregory Fairchild told the WBJ. “Thinking and testing you’ll see us do will probably — potentially, over time — lead to something different here that we wouldn’t do in Charlottesville.”

UVA launched its Northern Virginia campus in Rosslyn on Sept. 22, 2021, offering courses for its schools of business, engineering, education, data science and continuing and professional studies. Officials said at the time that the Arlington site was “just the beginning” of their plans for the region.

The university previously shared space with Virginia Tech at the Northern Virginia Center (7054 Haycock Road) in Idylwood, but it left in 2020 after declining to support a redevelopment. The property was sold last fall to a development team that will transform it into a construction hub with housing, a Virginia Tech research lab and a headquarters building for HITT Contracting.

UVA’s new site at the Center for Personalized Health will build on its existing collaboration with Inova Fairfax Hospital, which serves as a teaching hospital for the university’s medical students.

A white vehicle is about to crash off of the Route 50 ramp to I-66 in Fair Oaks (courtesy Statter911/Twitter)

(Updated at 8:15 p.m.) Fairfax County police combed Annandale last night for a man who reportedly stole an ambulance while getting treated at Inova Fairfax Hospital after a vehicle crash off I-66 near Fair Oaks.

The crash occurred at the eastbound Route 50 ramp to westbound I-66 around 12:30 p.m. yesterday (Monday) when officers attempted to stop a 2015 Toyota Corolla that was identified as stolen from another jurisdiction, according to the Fairfax County Police Department and scanner traffic on Open MHz.

The officers saw the driver pulling out of a Fair Oaks Mall parking lot when he spotted them and “accelerated at a high rate of speed,” the FCPD said in an update.

“The driver quickly changed directions and drove towards the westbound I-66 ramp,” the police department said. “The driver lost control of the Corolla, entered the embankment, and struck a small hill sending it airborne. The vehicle landed against a concrete wall on the exit ramp of westbound I-66 toward Route 50 eastbound.”

The crash was captured on traffic camera video shared by public safety watcher Dave Statter.

According to the FCPD, all five of the vehicle’s occupants received first aid, and four of them were taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital, one with injuries initially considered life-threatening.

However, while getting treated at the hospital, one of the passengers left and took off in a private ambulance.

“While not yet discharged, he walked away from treatment with an IV in arm, jumped in a private transport ambulance and stole it,” the FCPD said in a tweet at 10:29 p.m.

The ambulance was located in the 4200 block of Annandale Road in Annandale that evening, but the man who allegedly stole it still hasn’t been found, despite “an extensive search” by Fairfax and Prince William County police officers, according to the FCPD.

Identified by police as Rickey Lowe, 32, of Manassas, the man is now wanted for grand larceny in connection to the ambulance’s theft.

The FCPD says that two guns, a bag of “unknown white powder” and drug paraphernalia were found in the Corolla that crashed at the I-66 and Route 50 interchange. The driver remains hospitalized and has been charged with grand larceny.

A pediatric sick clinic is now open at the Inova Cares Clinic for Children near Seven Corners (courtesy Inova)

Inova patients in the Falls Church area can now get medical attention for their sick kids without having to visit an emergency room or make an appointment.

The nonprofit health system launched a pediatric sick clinic this morning (Thursday) out of the Inova Cares Clinic for Children (6400 Arlington Blvd, Suite 50) near Seven Corners. Described as the first service of its kind in Northern Virginia, the sick clinic serves children with common but less severe symptoms of illness, such as fever or coughing.

The clinic offers similar services to an urgent care center, but since it’s in a primary care facility, the setting is more familiar to prospective patients, who are often uninsured or have Medicaid, Inova Senior Vice President of Community Health and Health Equity Karen Berube says.

“A lot of our patients might not have the resources to go to an urgent care kind of setting, and so, this would be an opportunity for them to get the…level of care they need versus having to sit in an a crowded emergency room,” Berube said.

With the staffing and capacity to assist 50 people a day, the pediatric sick clinic was designed to alleviate some of the pressure on Inova’s hospitals, whose emergency departments have been strained this winter by an especially intense wave of respiratory illnesses.

Last night, emergency room wait times ranged from no wait in Reston to nearly an hour at Inova’s Mount Vernon and Leesburg hospitals. Inova revived its face mask requirements on Jan. 4 for emergency departments, emergency care centers and urgent care centers.

Masks will likely be required at the sick clinic as well, Berube says.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Virginia is seeing high respiratory illness activity. Based on emergency department data from the week that ended Jan. 6, flu and RSV visits have declined in Fairfax County, while COVID-19 visits are rising, though hospital admission levels remain low.

Demand remains high at Inova, with hospitals reaching capacity “on several days” this season, according to Berube. She says this winter has been comparable to the previous year, when a moderate Covid surge combined with increased flu and RSV cases to create what the CDC has called a “tripledemic.”

“It was so crowded and we couldn’t even see our own kids in the clinic because we were so full with visits,” Berube recalled.

After that experience, Inova came up with the idea of a pediatric sick clinic that could siphon off some of the patients who were visiting the emergency room but didn’t actually need that level of care.

The health care system found support for the proposal from a donor who contributed the funding. The exact amount isn’t being publicized at the donor’s request.

According to Berube, the clinic features two doctors, two medical assistants, a resource nurse and front-desk staff. Only walk-in visitors are accepted, and initially, patients are limited to children who get primary care services from any of seven Inova Cares clinics.

Inova intends to eventually expand the sick clinic to any uninsured individuals, but officials want to get a better understanding of the patient volume first.

“We need to see how big the volume is for this before we can expand it,” Berube said. “So, if we fill it up right away, we won’t expand it necessarily in the near future because we would be full already. So, we just want to be able to understand volumes first and the need.”

A new Inova-GoHealth Urgent Care Center has opened at Pickett Shopping Center in Fairfax (courtesy Inova Health System)

A Fairfax pet store that came under investigation for mistreating animals has been replaced by a facility for treating sprained ankles and other medical needs of human patients.

Inova Health System has opened an urgent care center at 9404-A Main Street in Fairfax City’s Pickett Shopping Center, the recently rebranded nonprofit health care provider announced yesterday (Monday).

Located next to Chuck E. Cheese, the facility occupies a suite last filled in 2019 by Petland, which shuttered after investigators found 14 dead rabbits in a freezer. This is Inova’s 11th urgent care center operated by GoHealth, an on-demand health care company that it teamed up with last year.

The center provides medical care for non-life-threatning conditions to patients 6 months and older.

“Having quick and easy access to high-quality care is essential for our community’s health,” Inova-GoHealth Urgent Care Medical Director Meredith Porter said. “We are committed to expanding our urgent care network and are excited to open our Pickett center, bringing high-quality care to where our patients live, work and play.”

Here’s more on the Pickett center from Inova:

The new center offers patients aged six months and older a wide array of services for non-life-threatening conditions, including flu, fever, earaches, insect bites, sprains, simple fractures, eye injuries and cuts requiring stitches. The center also provides X-ray services, labs and COVID-19 testing…

Patients can walk into any Inova-GoHealth center for care or save time by pre-registering online before going to their neighborhood center. The new Pickett center is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. Inova-GoHealth centers are open 365 days a year, including holidays.

Inova-GoHealth centers deliver quality on-demand care by Inova providers at convenient locations throughout Northern Virginia. When a patient requires further care, Inova-GoHealth is a direct connection to Inova’s robust network of care, which regularly earns national recognition for excellence in quality and safety, research and innovation.

Since partnering with GoHealth, Inova has been rapidly rebranding its existing urgent care centers, including locations in Reston, Tysons, Vienna, West Springfield and Centreville. The health care organization also opened a new center on Sept. 18 in Lorton Marketplace.

More centers are expected to open later this year in Seven Corners, Fair Oaks and Herndon, Inova says. The Herndon location will be in the Village Center at Dulles (2445 Centreville Road), per Fairfax County permits.

A sign for Inova Fairfax Hospital sports the health care system’s new logo (courtesy Inova)

Inova this week unveiled a rebranding initiative with a new logo, look and tone that will “redefine the health system’s identity.”

“The launch of the new brand aims to capture the health system’s dedication to innovative, compassionate, patient-centered and world-class healthcare while fostering a culture of inclusivity and collaboration,” Inova said in a news release.

The nonprofit healthcare provider, which began in the 1950s as a community hospital serving Fairfax County, launched the new brand at its flagship Inova Fairfax Medical Campus (3300 Gallows Road) near Merrifield on Monday (Oct. 2).

“The brand refresh is a signal to the community of what they can expect from Inova,” said Tracey Schroeder, Inova’s chief communications and external affairs officer. “The quality of care, exceptional health outcomes and caring patient experience are what our patients value and depend on. With this rebrand, we’re modernizing how Inova looks to better represent the care that defines us.”

The release notes that, in August, Inova was named the top hospital in Virginia and the D.C. metropolitan area by U.S. News & World Report.

“All five Inova hospitals have received A Grades from the Leapfrog Group, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid have recognized Inova with five stars for safety and quality – the only health system in the region to achieve this rating,” the release said.

Inova’s new logo “tells a clear story about how the health system, pronounced ‘in-OH-va,’ is always by your side,” according to the release.

Inova says the logo, which depicts two figures coming together, represents the fact that every step of the healthcare journey is taken together: whether it’s a provider comforting a patient, a doctor collaborating with a nurse or family member supporting a loved one.

“The logo evokes a warm, compassionate and welcoming environment where patients feel supported and valued,” the release said.

Inova preserved its recognizable blue in the new brand to build on strong brand equity, but updated the full color palette to include new colors that signal its new direction as a modern health system that continues to innovate and evolve.

“Our new brand is a mark of Inova’s progress in creating a unified clinical network, dedicated to delivering the highest quality of care to patients and families in Northern Virginia and beyond, and undeniably positions Inova to be among the leading health systems in the nation,” Inova President and CEO J. Stephen Jones said.

The new branding will be implemented at Inova locations on a rolling basis, with an advertising campaign planned in phases over the coming months. Inova will show up creatively in broadcast, streaming audio, digital and other multimedia channels.

The campaign will highlight specialty services and expert clinicians, emphasizing “their connection and dedication” to patients.

The rebrand announcement comes as Inova expands its health care facilities and services in the area, as laid out in its Eastern Region Development Plan. The organization recently added a behavioral health unit at its Mount Vernon hospital, and it got Fairfax County’s approval for a new Springfield hospital last year.

This article was written by FFXNow’s news partner and republished with permission and some edits. Sign up for’s free email subscription today.

Reston Regional Library (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Fairfax County is gearing up to officially swap land with Inova, moving forward several key elements of the redevelopment of Reston Town Center North.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a motion on Tuesday (Sept. 12) by Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn asking the county executive to move forward with a real estate exchange agreement with Inova.

The step — which has been contemplated for years — would facilitate the construction of a new Embry Rucker Shelter, affordable housing and Reston Regional Library.

The expedited review comes as a task force has assembled to analyze the proposed public uses at Reston Town Center delivers its final recommendations this fall. Alcorn assembled the task force in April 2022.

If the project goes through, the Embry Rucker Shelter will be replaced with a new facility. Built in 1986, the 10,500-square-foot shelter would be expanded with medical beds, day-use services for training and workforce development, and permanent supportive housing units.

Alcorn noted that the replacement of Reston Regional Library is also a critical need.

“As recently noted by the County Executive, this library has numerous critical systems that are nearing the end of their operational lives, and the timing for the replacement of this popular County facility is also becoming critical,” Alcorn wrote in the board matter.

An interim real estate exchange agreement was approved in September 2015. That concept worked toward a grid of streets and a one-to-one land swap, which would provide the county and Inova with developable blocks.

The future of RTC North was muddied when developer Foulger-Pratt scrapped its plans for a public-private partnership to redevelop the site in February. The unsolicited proposal would have included up to 350 affordable apartments and a new 40,000-square-foot library at the intersection of Bowman Towne Drive and Town Center Parkway.

RTC North is a hodgepodge of irregularly shaped parcels owned by the county, the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority, and Inova. The Fairfax County Park Authority conveyed a 5-acre parcel to the county in exchange for 90,000 square feet of development rights.

The land currently hosts the library, the shelter, the North County Human Services building, the Reston Police Station and the North County Governmental Center.

Developer Madison Highland has proposed a “game table community park” outside 8110 Gatehouse Road, which will be repurposed as live/work units (via Fairfax County)

Inova Health System’s former administrative headquarters in Merrifield will soon be transformed into a combination of workforce housing and live/work units — a kind of development that’s still relatively novel for Fairfax County.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted 8-0 to approve the project from developer Madison Highland after a public hearing on June 27. Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross and Braddock District Supervisor James Walkinshaw recused themselves because they respectively serve on Inova’s board of trustees and quality and reliability committee.

The developer — a joint venture by Madison Marquette and Highland Square Holdings — now anticipates breaking ground on the office building conversions at 8110 Gatehouse Road and 2990 Telestar Court by the end of the first quarter of 2024, Highland Square Holdings CEO Robert Seldin told FFXnow by email.

“I think this definitely shows quite a bit of opportunity and repurposing as we look…to build additional affordable and workforce units and try to address an area that’s becoming much, much more urban, to have it be accessible and address the multimodal needs in that community,” Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik said.

Vacant since last fall, the six-story Gatehouse building will be converted into up 240 live/work units that tenants can utilize as a residence, office or both. An existing five-story parking garage on the site will be left intact.

The four-story Telestar building will be turned into 82 workforce dwelling units (WDUs) for residents earning up to 60% of the area median income.

In its proposal, Madison Highland highlighted plans to provide sizable open spaces for both future residents and the general public, including:

  • Game Table Community Park: a 20,300-square-foot publicly accessible park adjacent to Gatehouse Road with seating, walking paths, game tables, and a mist fountain
  • Woof Park: a 13,600-square-foot publicly accessible park west of the Gatehouse building with seating, a gathering space, and a fenced dog park that will include waste stations and a drinking fountain
  • Community Play Zone: a 20,800-square-foot park along Telestar Court frontage with open seating, walking paths, and four children’s play areas
  • Resident-only common areas, including a courtyard, an “amenity zone” with grilling stations and table games, and a space on the garage’s top deck with pickleball courts, gardens and other amenities

To make room for the new open spaces and additional landscaping, the developer will eliminate “excess” parking spaces, but it will still meet the 768 spaces required by the county’s zoning ordinance, according to a staff report.

“I’m excited about turning some of the parking lot space that is currently impervious into some community use space, while knowing that there are large garages there that will be able to meet the majority, if not more than the majority of the needs for parking,” Palchik said.

No one at the public hearing voiced opposition to the development, but some area residents expressed concern about the potential impact on parking and traffic.

Insufficient parking is “the only issue that has come up over and over again” at board meetings for the High Pointe at Jefferson Park townhomes, according to resident and board member Ann Sweetser. Read More

Developer Madison Highland has proposed a “game table community park” outside 8110 Gatehouse Road with its repurposing as live/work units (via Fairfax County)

The proposed repurposing of Inova Health System’s former corporate headquarters in Merrifield as live/work and workforce housing units got a hearty recommendation from the Fairfax County Planning Commission earlier this week.

The commission recommended on Wednesday (June 7) that the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approve the plan from Madison Highland, a developer focused on live/work projects that’s pursuing similar conversions at the Skyline Center in Bailey’s Crossroads.

“This is an art-of-the-possible application,” Providence District Commissioner Phil Niedzielski-Eichner said. “It started with a vision…but then, that interaction between the applicant and staff resulted in an outcome that is so strikingly beneficial to our county that, to me, it’s a remarkable achievement.”

Under the name Madison Investment Portfolio LLC, the developer is seeking to turn a vacant, 245,000-square-foot office building at 8110 Gatehouse Road into 240 live/work units, which are newly defined in the county’s zoning ordinance as areas designed to accommodate both a residence and a “flexible work space.”

The 89,000-square-foot office building at 2990 Telestar Road will be repurposed as 82 workforce dwelling units for residents earning up to 60% of the area median income.

Representing the applicant at Wednesday’s public hearing, McGuireWoods Managing Partner Greg Riegle pitched the new units and accompanying open space, sidewalks, and other amenities as a “significant” improvement over the existing offices, which have been empty since Inova finished moving out last fall.

“The site gets greener, more amenitized,” he said, “and something that was exclusively automobile-oriented becomes much more walkable…We take a significant step toward creating a centerpiece where people can gather and interact that’s never existed in this part of Merrifield.”

The plan to convert Inova’s former Gatehouse Road and Telestar Court offices includes three publicly accessible parks and three common areas (via Fairfax County)

The development will feature three publicly accessible parks — a game table community park, a play zone and a “Woof Park” for dog walking — as well as three common areas for residents. Pickleball courts are also proposed on top of the Gatehouse building’s five-story parking garage.

Pedestrians will get 6-foot-wide sidewalks in front of both buildings, internal walkways for the new parks, a connection between the properties, and high-visibility crosswalks at all crossings, pending Virginia Department of Transportation approval.

Two area residents called for more roadway improvements to address safety concerns and vehicle speeds, particularly on Gatehouse Road.

“I see a lot more rush of people cutting off the corner coming up Lee Highway all the way to Gallows,” a resident of the High Point at Jefferson Park townhomes said. “Maybe at 3 o’clock after noon, there are 20 cars waiting for the red light to turn onto Gallows, so it’s already quite congested.”

The resident also said parking has been a persistent challenge for her neighborhood and the adjacent Yorktowne Square Condominiums, requesting that they be allowed to use the Gatehouse garage.

While Niedzielski-Eichner said parking access should be negotiated by the developer and homeowners separately from the rezoning application, Marc Dreyfuss with the Fairfax County Department of Transportation shared that Gatehouse Road is scheduled for a repaving this year that will create buffered bicycle lanes.

“Restriping the road through a road diet and adding the features that are proposed with this application should help slow the traffic,” Dreyfuss said, confirming that “we would not expect to see any significant increase” in traffic with the proposed development.

The application is set for a public hearing before the Board of Supervisors on June 27.

Surveillance footage shows two men who police say dropped off Brenda Ochoa Guerrero in the Inova Mount Vernon Hospital parking lot (via FCPD)

Four people have been arrested and charged in the death of a woman who was found, possibly shot, in the Inova Mount Vernon Hospital parking lot on April 13.

Detectives have determined that Brenda Ochoa Guerrero, 33, of Alexandria died at a house in the 2500 block of Fairhaven Avenue in Huntington, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.

She was then driven to the hospital at 8033 Holland Road, where a community member found her unconscious in the passenger seat of a vehicle with a gunshot wound, police said.

“Detectives from our Major Crimes Bureau responded to the scene and immediately began investigating,” the FCPD said. “Detectives located surveillance footage of two men who drove the car to the hospital parking lot and two individuals who were in the SUV that picked them up.”

According to police, an anonymous tip helped detectives identify 43-year-old David Littlefield and 36-year-old Eric Thompson, both from Alexandria, as the men who drove Ochoa Guerrero to the hospital and left her.

Police say they were picked up in a different car by 35-year-old Alexandria resident Eric Rubio and 29-year-old Maryland resident Yuris Pineda Gallegos.

Officers arrested Rubio, Thompson and Littlefield on May 14, according to Fairfax County court records. Gallegos turned herself in at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center yesterday (Wednesday), according to the police.

All four of them have been charged with concealment of a dead body, a Class 6 felony in Virginia.

Rubio and Littlefield remain in custody without bond. However, Pineda Gallegos was released by a magistrate on personal recognizance, and a judge granted Thompson a supervised release on May 18, according to a Fairfax County General District Court clerk.

According to the court, Thompson was assigned a probation officer with whom he has to check in periodically.

A preliminary hearing in the case has been scheduled for July 17, per court records.

The circumstances around Ochoa Guerrero’s death are still under investigation, the FCPD said.


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