Pictured, from left, are commissioner Sam Nolte; Kathy White, chair of the 100th anniversary committee; Sister Francesca Lowis, vice president of mission integration; Skip Gjolberg, hospital president and CEO; Lisa Wharton, vice president of marketing, public relations and Foundation; count commission president Kristie Tenney; and commissioner Terry Cutright.

County celebrates St. Joseph’s Hospital’s 100th anniversary, Dr. Joseph Reed’s 86th birthday

BUCKHANNON – They’ve both been a beacon of hope and a source of vital information — particularly over the past year – by providing invaluable medical treatment, services, instruction and guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

And on Thursday, the Upshur County Commission commended St. Joseph’s Hospital and Dr. Joseph Reed on their commitment to the Buckhannon-Upshur community.

The commission approved two proclamations, the first congratulating the hospital on 100 years of service to the community, which will be marked officially on Sunday, March 28, 2021 – a century after the Pallottine Missionary Sister officially opened the once eight-bed hospital in Buckhannon. The second celebrated the accomplishments of Dr. Joseph Reed, the current medical office of Upshur-Buckhannon Health Department, who turned 86 years old on Friday, March 26.

Upshur County Administrator Carrie Wallace read aloud a proclamation declaring March 25, 2021 St. Joseph’s Hospital Day throughout the county and outlined a brief history of the hospital. It got its start when, in 1912, four devout Pallottine Missionary Sisters were inspired by the motto of the missionary’s founder St. Vincent Pallotti, ‘the love of Christ impels us,’ to leave their homes in Germany “for a life dedicated to serving those in need in rural West Virginia.”

In 1921, the Sisters purchased the Barlow Estate, which overlooked the city, and converted it into an eight-bed hospital and convent in which they lived. On March 28, 1921, they opened the hospital, which has over the past century “transformed from an eight-bed hospital to a 25 in-patient bed and 16 long-term bed hospital and multi-faceted medical community, serving the needs of residents of Buckhannon, Upshur County and all of central West Virginia.”

As the workplace of more than 400 people, the hospital is one of the largest employers in the Upshur and Buckhannon communities, and in 2020, medical staff there treated 2,500 people on an in-patient basis and 61,000 people on an outpatient basis. Nearly 300 babies were welcomed into the world at St. Joseph’s Hospital in 2020.

The document further noted that the hospital “has been integral in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in our region offering testing, treatment and vaccinations to our community.” Moreover, its holistic vision of health, wherein medical staff view health “as a whole-person issue involving an individual’s behavioral, emotional, physical, social and spiritual health” enables the hospital to maintain a “broad view of what impacts patient health, therefore rendering them with better health outcomes,” the proclamation said.

In 2015, in a step to shore up its long-term viability, the Pallottine Missionary Sisters transferred sponsorship of the hospital to United Hospital Center and WVU Medicine. The commission congratulated St. Joseph’s Hospital, a “fundamental pillar” of the Buckhannon and Upshur County community, on its centennial anniversary and approved the proclamation unanimously.

Skip Gjolberg, president and CEO of St. Joseph’s Hospital, said the hospital appreciated the acknowledgement.

St. Joseph’s Hospital President and CEO Skip Gjolberg thanks the Upshur County Commission for recognizing its centennial anniversary.

“We really appreciate it. It’s been an honor for me to be here for the last five years, and for the hospital to be here for 100 years,” Gjolberg said. “If you think about the magnitude of that, providing health care to the people of Upshur County and the people of Buckhannon for that long and all that the sisters went through to do that … it’s just amazing. They used to grow their own food and raise chickens and pigs and all of that, and we really appreciate the honor and recognition.”

Commissioners also approved a proclamation expressing their gratitude on behalf of the community to Dr. Joseph Reed for his many decades of service and in recognition of his 86th birthday on Friday, March 26, 2021. Wallace said Dr. Reed was out of town for his birthday celebration but appreciated the gesture. Reed, who currently serves as the health officer of the Upshur-Buckhannon Health Department, has delivered 2,762 babies since he began his career in 1966.

The proclamation listed Reed’s myriad roles in professional, civic and volunteer organizations and thanked him for his “unwavering leadership, guidance and support to the citizens of Upshur County during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“We encourage our citizens to express their appreciation to Dr. Reed for his unfailing commitment to our community,” the proclamation said.



Buckhannon City Council approves $6.5 million-dollar budget prioritizing public safety, infrastructure

BUCKHANNON – City council passed the largest budget in Buckhannon’s history Tuesday, with the two largest allocations once again earmarked for public safety operations and infrastructure maintenance, respectively. At its March 14 meeting – rescheduled from March 16 due to […]

Become a premium member to unlock immediate access to this story and thousands more. Plus you’ll wake up every morning to our email edition. Your subscription supports local news by local writers. Signing up is easy — just tap the button below!

Police arrest man they say was the driver in 2022 pursuit that ended in a wreck with two people ejected

BUCKHANNON – A Rock Cave man was arrested for allegedly fleeing from police officers in a vehicle, injuring himself and a passenger. Elijah Carpenter, 27, of Rock Cave was arrested Thursday for fleeing from an officer and fleeing or attempting […]

Become a premium member to unlock immediate access to this story and thousands more. Plus you’ll wake up every morning to our email edition. Your subscription supports local news by local writers. Signing up is easy — just tap the button below!


Lacrosse Bucs fall late to John Marshall, 12-11

TENNERTON – The Buckhannon-Upshur boy’s lacrosse team let one get away from against the John Marshall Monarchs Saturday night at Freal “Red” Crites Memorial Stadium. The Bucs led 9-7 going into the final quarter but couldn’t maintain the lead dropping […]

Become a premium member to unlock immediate access to this story and thousands more. Plus you’ll wake up every morning to our email edition. Your subscription supports local news by local writers. Signing up is easy — just tap the button below!

Big 10 Boy’s All-Conference Basketball Team announced

TENNERTON – The Big 10 Boy’s All-Conference Basketball Team was announced on Monday as voted on by the league coaches. Fairmont Senior’s Zycheus Dobbs was named the Conference Player of the Year. Dobbs led the

Upshur County Sports Calendar

MONDAY (March 20) Baseball Softball Tennis TUESDAY (March 21) Baseball Softball Tennis WEDNESDAY (March 22) Lacrosse Tennis THURSDAY (March 23) Baseball Lacrosse Softball Tennis FRIDAY (March 24) Baseball Lacrosse Tennis Track and Field SATURDAY (March

WVWC Track - Wesleyan Sports

Wesleyan track and field teams find success at WVU meet

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia Wesleyan men’s and women’s track & field teams competed at West Virginia University this weekend at the Stan Romanoski Open. The Bobcats had five individual event winners and one


Fairmont State University selects 2023 Presidential Scholarship winners

Three incoming Fairmont State University freshmen have been selected as the recipients of Fairmont State’s premier academic scholarship, the Charles J. McClain Presidential Scholarship. Sophie Stuart from Jefferson High School (Charles town, W.VA), Hailey Jordan

WVDEP hosting students on World Water Day

CHARLESTON, WV – In an effort to enrich students’ understanding of the importance of clean water, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) is hosting a water education event for area grade schools on