MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Thomas Health has been accepted to become a full member of the West Virginia University Health System by the end of the year, while Saint Francis Hospital will become West Virginia’s first full-service and comprehensive orthopaedic hospital.

The decisions come as part of an agreement between the Boards of Directors of Thomas Health System, Thomas Memorial Hospital and Saint Francis Hospital.

Saint Francis’ transformation will include a walk-in clinic as well as offices for orthopaedic, spine and nerve physicians.

“Kanawha County has the highest population of any county in West Virginia, so we’re thrilled to be able to bring the world-class healthcare that WVU Medicine patients across the state have come to depend on to people in the Charleston area,” Albert L. Wright, Jr., president and CEO of the WVU Health System and interim president and CEO of Thomas Health, said. “As we expand our network of care across West Virginia and the surrounding region, we are working to reduce the travel time and distance between our patients and their healthcare providers.”

As part of Saint Francis’ transition, many of its traditional hospital services will be moved over to Thomas Memorial and expanded. The transition is expected to take place in early 2023.