MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – A subsidiary of WVU Hospitals received a Certificate of Need (CON) from the West Virginia Health Care Authority, for the operation of Wetzel County Hospital, according to a press release from WVU Medicine.
The release explained that the WVU Health System has also signed a long-term lease to take over operations of Wetzel County Hospital, Inc. The hospital, which is owned by Wetzel County, signed a letter of intent to join the health system in January and is slated to formally become a member in July.
“Now, more than ever, it is important that we maintain operation of the rural hospitals in our state,” Albert L. Wright, Jr., President and CEO of the WVU Health System explained. “We want to ensure that Wetzel County residents have access to the care they need close to home.”
According to WVU Medicine’s release, Wetzel County Hospital entered into a management agreement with WVU Hospitals on Oct. 1, 2018. Prior to that, it had been a clinical affiliate of the WVU Health System since 2016. Under the terms of the management agreement, David Hess, M.D., became CEO of Wetzel County Hospital. He also serves as president and CEO of WVU Medicine Reynolds Memorial Hospital in Glen Dale.
“Wetzel County Hospital provides essential services to our community,” Dr. Hess said. “As a member of the WVU Health System, we are able to provide access to state-of-the-art care in a community setting where our patients are comfortable.”
The Wetzel County Hospital is a 58-bed facility that employs 235 people. The release explained that it offers a variety of inpatient and outpatient services, including cardiopulmonary, emergency, general surgery, radiology, and cardiac rehabilitation, physical, occupational and speech therapy.
“On behalf of the residents of Wetzel County, we look forward to a new era of healthcare in our area. Our residents will now have more services and receive care closer to home. We welcome the WVU Health System as a new major player to our county.”