FAIRMONT, W.Va. – WVU Medicine announced that it has signed a lease for the old Fairmont Regional Medical Center building. This is so hospital operations can begin in Marion County before the official move into the new facility, which is set to be up and running in the next couple years.
CEO Albert Wright said on June 30 WVU Medicine hopes to welcome the first patients. This will only be temporary, but this move has allowed WVU Medicine to offer 110 new jobs and it will be an official branch of Ruby Memorial Hospital, offering the same doctors that Ruby and UHC in Bridgeport have, only in Fairmont.
“It was very traumatic for that community to lose Fairmont Regional Medical Center after so many years,” said Wright. “We view ourselves at WVU Medicine to be the academic health system and the leading university in the state of West Virginia, so in Fairmont this is one of the larger areas in north central West Virginia, and having a hospital there is so important for the people. “
The new WVU Medicine location will have a full imaging suite, as well as 10 patient beds in case someone needs to spend the night. On top of it all, it will have a fully operating emergency room, so EMS workers do not need to drive all the way to Morgantown or Bridgeport anymore.
“I mean I think the emergency team is so excited. Taking off that extra 15, 20 minutes of the drive, can as we all know save lives,” said Wright. “I have seen it first hand, and they have been working so hard for the community, but we’re glad to offer this emergency service closer to the center of Marion county.”
When the location opens at the end of June, officials will “test the water” to see how busy they are. This will determine if they should expand their operations, or decrease them, depending on the demand in Fairmont. Officials have said that this will go until at least October.
“Our job is to try to improve the health of West Virginian’s whenever we can. I’m proud of our team for operationalizing this, I’m proud of our board of directors for supporting it, even during the challenges with this COVID shut down,” Wright said.
Services will be open 24/7, until the new building is officially open on the connector. Officials explained that they are hoping to finalize the design in fall 2020, and have the finished building in early 2022.