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Huntington, Point Pleasant hospitals sign management agreement

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POINT PLEASANT, WV -

Pleasant Valley Hospital has entered into a joint management services agreement with Cabell Huntington Hospital as a way of turning around problems with finances and recruiting specialists.

"It's not a change of ownership. It's not a sale of assets," Larry Unroe, interim CEO of Pleasant Valley, said in a ceremony Dec. 4 in the lobby of the hospital's main entrance.

Pleasant Valley will retain its name and will continue as full-service, separate hospital in Point Pleasant with its own medical staff and employees. Cabell Huntington will provide assistance with physician recruiting and management. Pleasant Valley will work with Cabell Huntington, the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and Marshall Health to offer new benefits and improved access to highly specialized medical care.

Among the first steps to be accomplished under the management agreement is the recruiting of a permanent CEO for Pleasant Valley. The Pleasant Valley CEO will be a member of the Cabell Huntington executive team. Liberatore said he expects the CEO to be appointed in the first quarter of 2014.

Unroe said the agreement should not result in job reductions at Pleasant Valley but instead in job increases as specialties and specialists are added.

Pleasant Valley's board of directors approved the agreement Nov. 18. The Cabell Huntington board approved it Dec. 3. The agreement became effective Dec. 4. Officials from both hospitals signed the agreement during the ceremony in the Pleasant Valley lobby.

Mario Liberatore, chairman of the Pleasant Valley board, said the hospital talked with Cabell Huntington and three other entities before choosing the Huntington hospital. Unroe said Cabell Huntington has a good cultural fit with Pleasant Valley.

Cabell Huntington CEO Brent Marsteller said the two hospitals serve similar populations.

Cabell Huntington is a not-for-profit 303-bed academic medical center located in Huntington. It is home to the Hoops Family Children's Hospital and the Edwards Comprehensive Cancer Center and cares for patients from more than 29 counties throughout West Virginia, eastern Kentucky and southern Ohio. Opened in 1956, it is a teaching hospital and is affiliated with Marshall University schools of medicine and nursing.

Pleasant Valley Hospital was established in 1959. It is a not-for-profit healthcare system that provides community-oriented health care for Mason and Jackson counties in West Virginia and the counties of Gallia and Meigs in Ohio. The 201-bed facility includes a 101-bed acute care facility, a 100-bed nursing & rehabilitation center, three medical equipment sites and a full range of rehabilitation services.  Pleasant Valley operates 15 medical clinics.