Thomas Health, a hospital in Charleston, announced its affiliation with WVU Medicine Wednesday. The two will partner in managing the hospital and providing clinical services.
According to a statement from the hospital, this could be the start of a full merger with the WVU Medicine System. Thomas Health Board Chairman Angela Mayfield said small community hospitals “need partnerships with larger systems in order to survive the current healthcare climate.”
Thomas Health President and CEO Dan Lauffer also announced his retirement. That means WVU Medicine’s CEO Albert Wright will serve as the hospital’s interim CEO.
Thomas Health grew out of a merger between Saint Francis and Thomas Memorial hospitals in 2007. The company employs about 1,800 people and operates more than 300 beds.
WVU Medicine is the largest employer in the state and operates 16 hospitals.