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Commissioners back Valley Health's bid for Certificate of Need

Public hearing on CON is scheduled for Oct. 6 in Charleston, W.Va.

Public hearing on CON is scheduled for Oct. 6 in Charleston, W.Va.

September 17, 2009|By TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.VA. -- The Morgan County Commission on Thursday signed a resolution supporting Valley Health's bid for a Certificate of Need to build a new War Memorial Hospital. 

Valley Health, which manages the existing county-owned hospital, is in the process of purchasing it from the county. The purchase becomes final when the Certificate of Need (CON) is approved by the West Virginia Health Care Authority. 

Under the purchase agreement, Valley Health would maintain the existing hospital and build a new one within two years after the CON is granted. 

West Virginia University Hospitals-East has challenged the CON. A public hearing on the CON is scheduled by the Health Care Authority for Oct. 6 in Charleston, W.Va.   

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The commission's resolution explains that Valley Health met the conditions of the purchase agreement that a "new licensee commit to continue to provide a range of health services in our county, including but not limited to a critical access hospital, nursing home facility, inpatient services, rehabilitation services, outpatient diagnostics and screening." 

The Commission's resolution requests that WVU Hospitals-East which operates City Hospital in Martinsburg, W.Va., and Jefferson Memorial Hospital in Ranson, W.Va., withdraw its objections, and further urges that the West Virginia Health Care Authority "grant now a license to War Memorial Hospital, Inc. to acquire and operate our hospital."

The commissioners want any provider that operates the hospital to meet the county's needs. 

Commission President Brenda J. Hutchinson said they wanted to assure the citizens that the commission "will protect them and make sure they get a much-needed new hospital." 

She said letters supporting Valley Health's CON can be written to the West Virginia Health Care Authority, 100 Dee Drive, Charleston, W.Va. 25311.  

Copies of the resolution are to be sent to the West Virginia Health Care Authority, Gov. Joe Manchin III, lawmakers representing Morgan County and to Albert Pilkington, WVU Hospitals-East president and CEO.  

County Administrator Bill Clark said nothing less than the level of service provided by the existing hospital will be acceptable.

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