WESTON, W.Va. (WBOY) — Mon Health Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital hosted its 50th Anniversary Celebration Tuesday with a dinner at Saint Paul’s West in Weston.

Mon Health System, part of Vandalia Health, is an integrated network of physician clinics, outpatient centers, and hospitals in North Central West Virginia that works together to make healthcare more accessible and affordable to the communities it serves. During the celebration, it was announced that Mon Health Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital Board Member Gerald Wood was also celebrating his 92nd birthday and helped with the formation of the organization 50 years ago.

“It is so important to be able to provide care locally because if we do not provide the care locally people have to travel outside of our county 30 minutes, 60 minutes, maybe even longer, because people travel that far to be able to get to us because of the nature of West Virginia, it’s such a rural area,” said Kevin Stalnaker, Chief Administrative Officer for Mon Health Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital. “We’re the primary hospital not just for Lewis but also for Gilmer County. So, for us to be able to do that here locally is so important. That is why we not only provide primary care, but we want to provide cardiology service, pulmonology services, orthopedic surgery, and general surgery, those things are important to our local community and our region.”

Stalnaker stated that they are celebrating their current hospital location, but it is their goal to build a replacement hospital in the near future. He said the hospital is continuing that process to replace it with a modern state-of-the-art hospital.

“We’ve applied for permission to do that and were turned down. We are appealing that decision. So, we are all very hopeful that we will get that overturned and we’ll be able to move forward with a new hospital on a piece of property that the hospital has owned for years now,” said David Ramsey, President of Vandalia Health. “That is what hospitals and health care is all about, they’re about taking care of the community, they are about taking care of each other, and the people that had the foresight and the wisdom to build a hospital initially, they did it for all the right reasons. They wanted doctors in their community, they wanted employment in the community, they wanted economic development in their community, and a hospital can do those things and has done here for 50 years.”

There are five hospitals in the Vandalia Health flagship, Mon Health Medical Center in Morgantown, Mon Health Preston Memorial Hospital in Kingwood, Mon Health Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital in Weston, and Mon Health Marion Neighborhood Hospital in White Hall.