homepage logo

Wetzel County Hospital Joins WVU

By Staff | Jul 8, 2020

Local Dignitaries at WVU Medicine Wetzel Event.

It’s been several months in the making, but on Thursday July 1, local officials and dignitaries gathered at Wetzel County Hospital in New Martinsville to officially celebrate the Hospital joining the West Virginia University Health System.

On January 15, 2020, the deal was struck, and Wetzel County Hospital under the ownership of the Wetzel County Commission, signed a letter of intent to join the WVU Health System. That was the official start to making the deal a reality, and providing an overal more reliable and improved healthcare service for Wetzel County and surrounding areas.

Albert L. Wright, Jr., President and CEO of the WVU Health System said,”We are excited to officially welcome Wetzel County Hospital into the WVU Medicine family and to continue our work serving the people of New Martinsville and the surrounding region.”

“During this unprecedented time, it is critically important to ensure that people have access to high quality healthcare in their communities, and we are honored to provide that service in Wetzel County.” Wright added.

In January, when,Wetzel County Hospital signed the letter of intent to join the WVU Health System, a Certificate of Need (CON) application was filed with the West Virginia Health Care Authority.

The CON was approved in April. At that time, the WVU Health System signed a long-term lease to assume operation of the hospital.

On Thursday, it was announced that David Hess, M.D., CEO of Wetzel County Hospital will continue to serve in that capacity as he has since October 2018, pursuant to WVU Hospitals’ management agreement with Wetzel County Hospital. Dr. Hess will also continue to serve as president and CEO of WVU Medicine Reynolds Memorial Hospital in Glen Dale.

Wetzel County Commissioners said they thank WVU for the investment, and are happy to welcome the WVU Health System into our area. The commission said they are looking forward to a new era of healthcare that will benefit our area for generations to come.

Established in 1920, Wetzel County Hospital was established in 1920 and is a 58-bed facility that employs 235 people. It offers a variety of inpatient and outpatient services, including cardiopulmonary, emergency, general surgery, radiology, and cardiac rehabilitation, physical, occupational, and speech therapy.

While speaking with the Wetzel Chronicle, CEO Wright, stated the hospital will be adding some additional specialists including a full time cardiologist, which he said is a much needed service for this hospital. He indicated they will also be working towards better Mental Health Services and employing a full time Psychiatrist.

The West Virginia University Health System, the state’s largest health system and largest private employer, is comprised of 12 hospitals its flagship hospital, J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown; Berkeley Medical Center in Martinsburg; Braxton County Memorial Hospital in Gassaway; Camden Clark Medical Center in Parkersburg; Jackson General Hospital in Ripley; Jefferson Medical Center in Ranson; Potomac Valley Hospital in Keyser; Reynolds Memorial Hospital in Glen Dale; St. Joseph’s Hospital in Buckhannon; Summersville Regional Medical Center in Summersville; United Hospital Center in Bridgeport; and Wetzel County Hospital. It also provides management services to Barnesville Hospital in Barnesville, Ohio; Garrett Regional Medical Center in Oakland, Maryland; Harrison Community Hospital in Cadiz, Ohio; Highland-Clarksburg Hospital in Clarksburg; Uniontown Hospital in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, and Wheeling Hospital in Wheeling. The WVU Health System also includes five institutes the WVU Cancer Institute, the WVU Critical Care and Trauma Institute, the WVU Eye Institute, the WVU Heart and Vascular Institute, and the WVU Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute.