MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Patients of Welch Community Hospital in Welch, W.Va. will have greater access to specialized care and other critical healthcare services under a plan to have the 65-bed, state-managed, directed, and controlled acute care hospital join the WVU Medicine network of hospitals, clinics, and physician practices.
That plan will take a crucial step toward realization when officials from the WVU Health System, the State of West Virginia, and McDowell County approve and sign in the coming weeks a letter of intent (LOI) for the Hospital to join the WVU Health System by Dec. 31, 2023. Final closing of the transaction is contingent upon certain board and regulatory approvals.
“This is a great plan for the people of McDowell County and its only acute-care hospital,” Gov. Jim Justice said. “As we assessed the ongoing healthcare needs and challenges in McDowell County and our own ability to continue managing a hospital so important to the community, we concluded having Welch Community Hospital join the WVU Medicine family made all the sense in the world – Albert Wright and his team are the experts at running hospitals and do a heck of a job.”
Once a member of the WVU Health System, the Hospital will have greater access to the expertise, resources, and technology necessary to keep it viable for years to come.
“We’re excited to work with Governor Justice and his team, as well as officials from McDowell County, to have Welch Community Hospital join the WVU Health System,” Albert L. Wright, Jr., president and CEO of the WVU Health System, said. “We’re also very excited by the idea of us extending our network of care into one of West Virginia’s most distressed areas to care for some of our state’s most vulnerable citizens. This really cuts to who we are as an organization and the spirit of our mission.”
As part of the WVU Health System, Welch Community Hospital will become part of a comprehensive network of care that is unified by a common electronic medical record.
“This will be a big win for the patients of Welch Community Hospital,” Michael Edmond, M.D., M.P.H., M.P.A., M.B.A., chief medical officer of the WVU Health System, said. “Through a common electronic medical record, our providers and care teams across West Virginia and the broader region can communicate seamlessly and effortlessly while coordinating care more efficiently and safely.”
Through this transition and as outlined in the LOI, the State will also begin the process to identify long-term care providers to which the State could transfer the Hospital’s 59-bed long-term care unit.