WVU Medicine gets green light for local hospital

WVU Medicine CEO Albert Wright, left, announces plans to build a new hospital in Fairmont, alongside West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice at the WVU Medicine Outpatient Center along the Fairmont Connector on March 13.

FAIRMONT — The now empty facilities of Fairmont Regional Medical Center will soon be open with new occupants.

The West Virginia Health Care Authority has approved a Certificate of Need for WVU Medicine, which planned to operate a 10-bed acute care facility out of Fairmont Regional as a branch of Ruby Memorial Hospital, according to a press release from the organization. Formal approval was granted May 6.

The facility will come to be called Fairmont Medical Center, and will also “provide on-site imaging, including x-ray, ultrasound, and computed tomography, and laboratory services.” According to the application, the cost of this project is at an estimated $8,790,000.

“We are grateful for the West Virginia Health Care Authority’s approval of our plans, and we are excited to ensure that the residents of Marion County continue to have access to emergency department and inpatient services close to home,” said Albert L. Wright, Jr., president and CEO of the West Virginia University Health System. “We appreciate the excitement and anticipation the community has already shown for these projects, and we look forward to seeing them come to fruition.”

The Health Care Authority also approved a CON for WVU Medicine to build a 100-bed hospital on the Gateway Connector next to the organization’s existing outpatient center.

Wright announced this project at a press conference March 13 alongside West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice and WVU President Gordon Gee. This hospital is planned to include an emergency department and 25 inpatient acute care beds, which will accompany several other hospital services available at other WVU Medicine locations. This project is set to be completed in mid-2022, according to the press release.

On March 30, also filed for a Certificate of Need to construct a 25-bed hospital on the Gateway Connector that would serve “as a campus and department of Ruby Memorial Hospital.” The project is estimated to cost $35,3 million.

Both moves by WVU Medicine come as a response to Fairmont Regional Medical Center’s closure that took place March 19, a day and a month after FRMC’s owners — Irvine, Calif.-based Alecto Healthcare Services Inc. — announced it would close the local hospital in 60 days and lay off 528 employees.

In the meantime, Morgantown-based Mon Health System on March 20 applied for a Certificate of Need to build a 10-bed hospital in Marion County “providing a fully functioning emergency room and corresponding services with all the normal diagnostic and support services of an acute care hospital. The hospital is estimated to cost $25 million.

Email Eddie Trizzino at etrizzino@timeswv.com and follow him on Twitter at @eddietimeswv.

News Reporter

Eddie Trizzino has been a reporter with the Times West Virginian since August of 2017, covering the entertainment, business and health beats. He spends most of his time listening to records, going to the movies and strolling through the town.

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