The Times West Virginian


April 6, 2014

Strong Fairmont General Hospital badly needed to serve our region

Mere minutes often matter when it comes to emergency health care.

That’s why we need a strong Fairmont General Hospital.

When patients need the services of health-care professionals, having family and friends close at hand is often essential, and their presence may even lead to a better outcome.

That’s why we need a strong Fairmont General Hospital.

A fine medical facility means employment for hundreds of people providing a wide range of services.

That’s why we need a strong Fairmont General Hospital.

It’s no secret that FGH has been facing financial challenges in recent years.

We’re hopeful, though, that some news from the hospital’s board of directors last week leads to a boost for FGH.

In relation to the hospital’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy, board members held a special meeting Monday to consider initial bids from potential strategic partner candidates. The board of directors voted unanimously to approve a resolution authorizing Peggy Coster, Fairmont General’s interim president and CEO, to execute an asset purchase agreement, or APA, between the hospital and Alecto Healthcare Services. The motion also included authorization to evaluate any other potential agreements that are in the best interest of Fairmont General Hospital.

An agreement would mean Alecto would purchase the assets of Fairmont General, take over the hospital and work in conjunction with the staff to run, maintain and improve the facility, said Michael Garrison of Spilman Thomas & Battle PLLC in Morgantown, general counsel for Fairmont General.

A partnership with Alecto is not guaranteed.

Garrison explained that before approval by the bankruptcy court, in a process that began last September, a public auction process will take place to test the market to see if there are any other entities that have emerged or might emerge to make a better bid than what Alecto has proposed.

Fairmont General, as the debtor, is required to submit a plan to emerge from bankruptcy. This will happen over the course of the next two to three months. Again, the court must approve these actions, Garrison said.

Alecto Healthcare Services is a for-profit corporation headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif., that has acquired 20 acute-care hospitals. Alecto, which has more than 100 cumulative years of hospital experience among its management team, was one of at least three entities that submitted proposals to participate as a strategic partner with FGH, Garrison said.

“The board has evaluated those and every other possibility that’s out there and decided ... that the best path forward for maintaining the hospital here in Fairmont would be to work toward partnering (with Alecto),” he said.

Garrison added that “the board has been extremely diligent in looking at every option with the overarching goal of keeping this hospital open in Fairmont. The board is to be commending for that, and management as well.”

Residents in this area along the Interstate 79 corridor are fortunate to have excellent health-care facilities close by — FGH along with Ruby Memorial Hospital and Monongalia General Hospital in Morgantown and United Hospital Center in Bridgeport.

The goal, obviously, is to continue to have the other hospitals in addition to FGH, not in place of it.

“Our ultimate goal when we filed for bankruptcy protection is the same goal we have in taking this important step today: to make sure Fairmont General will be healthy, strong and well-positioned to thrive and provide quality care in this community for generations to come,” J. Michael Martin, FGH board member, said in a press release.

That goal is well stated.

The Fairmont General situation will be monitored closely in the months to come with a thought that must not be forgotten.

We need a strong Fairmont General Hospital.

Text Only
  • If something seems too good to be true, then assume that it is

    Scam. noun. A confidence game or other fraudulent scheme, especially for making a quick profit; swindle.
    This is a word that Marion Countians have heard a lot about in the past few years. And the problem appears to be one that is getting worse every day.

    July 31, 2014

  • State must convince parents, schools about benefits of Common Core

    It’s always nice to have a little bit of background information before diving into something new.
    So we have to agree with West Virginia Board of Education president Gayle Manchin when she says the state should have done a better job of explaining Common Core standards when they were first introduced.
    Those standards, part of a national educational initiative that sets learning goals designed to prepare students in kindergarten through 12th grade for college and career, will be fully implemented in every West Virginia school district next month.

    July 30, 2014

  • Time is now for Tomblin to support King Coal Highway

    U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., is asking Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to add the King Coal Highway project to West Virginia’s six-year highway improvement plan. It is a logical request, and one that Tomblin should act promptly on.

    July 29, 2014

  • United effort to keep NASA in Fairmont is essential project

    The high-technology sector is obviously vital to the economy of North Central West Virginia.
    That’s why a strong, united effort to keep the NASA Independent Verification and Validation Program in Fairmont is absolutely essential.

    July 27, 2014

  • COLUMN: Calling all readers: Be heard

    I love to talk to readers.
    I love to hear concerns they have about stories we’ve written, things they think should be included in the newspaper and things they think shouldn’t be.

    July 27, 2014

  • Korean War veterans are deserving of a memorial

    NEEDED: A total of $10,000 for the Korean War Memorial this year.
    And a good man has been placed in charge of the funding. Charlie Reese, former president of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, is now director of the Marion County Development Office. His task was to make a recommendation as to what steps are necessary to keep the project moving.

    July 25, 2014

  • Roll up your sleeves, give blood and you can save lives

    It takes up to 100 units of blood to save the life of someone who sustains life-threatening injuries in a vehicle accident.
    We’re hoping that the number of people who come to Fairmont Senior High School on Friday for and American Red Cross blood drive will exceed that amount.

    July 24, 2014

  • Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely

    The days are long. The weather is superb. There’s plenty of leisure time in these lazy days of summer.
    It’s the perfect time to take a long motorcycle ride.
    It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to take the time to remind not only riders but drivers of the need to share the road. And we feel compelled to mention it because just within the month of July, there have been two motorcycle-versus-car accidents within the City of Fairmont alone — one with severe injuries sustained by the motorcyclist and the other with less serious injury.

    July 23, 2014

  • Too many taking too few steps to protect selves from skin cancer

    July 22, 2014

  • Distracted driving: It isn’t worth fine or a life

    Today marks the day that police agencies from six states are joining forces to crack down on one thing — distracted driving.
    And they will focus on that traffic violation for a solid week, with the stepped-up effort to curb distracted driving wrapping up on Saturday, July 26.

    July 20, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Politics
House Ads