Wetzel County Hospital joining WVU Health System

Wetzel County Hospital in New Martinsville signed a letter of intent to join the West Virginia University Health System, according to a news release. (Courtesy: WVU Medicine)
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WDTV)-- Wetzel County Hospital in New Martinsville signed a letter of intent to join the West Virginia University Health System, according to a news release.

WVU Hospitals will file a Certificate of Need application with the West Virginia health Care Authority to seek approval to operate the hospital, a news release from WVU Medicine says.

“We are happy to be partners with the WVU Health System,” Lawrence Lemon, president of the Wetzel County Commission, said. “We look forward to being part of a landmark event that will impact the citizens of our county for generations to come.”

Wetzel County Hospital entered into a management agreement with WVU Hospitals in Oct. 2018. Before the agreement, the hospital was a clinical affiliate of the WVU Health System since 2016, WVU Medicine said.

Under the terms of the management agreement, Dr. David Hess became CEO of Wetzel County Hospital, according to WVU Medicine. Dr. Hess also serves as president and CEO of WVU Medicine Reynolds Memorial Hospital in Glen Dale.

“The County Commissioners and the Hospital Trustees have supported and encouraged our partnership with the WVU Health System every step of the way, and for that, we thank them,” George Friedline, chair of the Wetzel County Hospital’s Board of Trustees, said. “To-date, our relationship with the WVU Health System has been a win for our County’s residents, and we expect even greater wins for them in the form of greater access to specialized care as we become a full member of the System.”

Wetzel County Hospital was established in 1920, according to the news release. The hospital is a 58-bed facility that employs 235 people, and it offers a variety of impatient and outpatient services like cardiopulmonary, emergency, general surgery, radiology, and cardiac rehabilitation, physical, occupational, and speech therapy.

“We are excited to officially take the next step toward bringing Wetzel County Hospital into the WVU Medicine family,” Albert L. Wright, Jr., president and CEO of the WVU Health System, said. “Everyone in Wetzel County – its residents, the County Commissioners, and the Hospital’s employees – has supported this relationship and grown it into what it is today. We’re appreciative of that support and look forward to growing and strengthening our partnership in the future.”

WVU Health System is the state's largest health system and largest private employer and is comprised of 11 hospitals and five institutes.