Better than free parking

Published 6:26 pm Monday, January 9, 2017

If you were to make a list of the places you might expect to find a valet service, it’s pretty unlikely that Sentara Obici Hospital would make the top five.

But Suffolk’s hospital is blazing new trails in patient service lately, and a valet service fits right into the mix.

The service is part of hospital administrators’ plan to alleviate problems that patients might experience during construction of a new 20,000-square-foot medical building. That work will result in a temporary loss of portions of the south parking lot, and it will cause a mess on other parts of the hospital campus, as well.

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The new free valet service is designed to allow patients and their families easy access to the hospital without having to dodge construction equipment and materials.

“We’re going to be tearing up the parking lot beyond the footprint of the new building,” Dr. Steve Julian, president of the hospital said last week. “We built two additional, new parking lots, so we’ve increased capacity, but it’s still going to be messy here for a while. We’re doing all of this to make our campus more robust and make it a better destination for patients, but there’s always a little pain in the process.”

The valet service began last summer, but it has not been utilized to its full potential. Administrators hope the construction mess, along with a publicity effort, will help convince more folks to take advantage of the opportunity.

What’s better than free parking? Why, free valet parking, of course.