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A hospital that almost shut down last year is now expanding under new ownership. West Virginia University Health System announced Friday that it would invest $110 million in the Fairmont Medical Center.
Over the course of about five years, WVU plans to completely rebuild the Marion County hospital “in place”, which was originally built in the 1930s.
“Every window in this facility needs replaced, every roof needs replaced, just about every pipe needs replaced,” said Albert L. Wright Jr., president and CEO of the West Virginia University Health System and West Virginia University Hospitals.
More than 60 beds will be added, totalling 110 when work is done. Hundreds more employees will be hired, said Wright, speaking at a Friday news conference.
The hospital will provide comprehensive care to the county of more than 50,000 people. Wright said the hospital currently serves about 55 patients a day.
The announcement comes roughly one year after WVU took over operations of the struggling hospital. The Times West Virginian reports that the hospital closed in March 2020 under California-based former owner Alecto Healthcare Services LLC. The company said the hospital was hemorrhaging money.
WVU reopened the hospital in June 2020 as a 10-bed emergency room, operating as a satellite of J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital.
Gov. Jim Justice joined Wright today in making the announcement. He said saving the regional hospital was a heroic feat for all those involved.
“It would have been a shame beyond belief that you wouldn’t have had a community full-service hospital in Marion County,” he said. “This is a wonderful story of how good people worked really, really hard… these people deserve so much credit.”