West Virginia University Health System receives Certificate of Need, signs long-term lease for Wetzel County Hospital

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.

Wetzel County HospitalThe WVU Health System has also signed a long-term lease to assume operation of Wetzel County Hospital, Inc. The hospital, 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, said. “We want to ensure that Wetzel County residents have access to the care they need close to home.”

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.”

Established in 1920, Wetzel County Hospital 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.

“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,” Lawrence Lemon, president of the Wetzel County Commission, said.

The West Virginia University Health System, the state’s largest health system and largest private employer, is comprised of 11 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; St. Joseph’s Hospital in Buckhannon; Summersville Regional Medical Center in Summersville; and United Hospital Center in Bridgeport. 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; 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.

For more information, visit WVUMedicine.org.