West Virginia lawmaker said he hopes hospital jobs are preserved amid 2 hospital closures

W. Va. Rep. David McKinley said he hopes officials are able to preserve jobs and operations amid the closures of Ohio Valley Medical Center in Wheeling, W.Va., and East Ohio Regional Hospital in Martins Ferry, according to WVNews.com.

Daniel C. Dunmyer, president and CEO of both hospitals, announced plans Aug. 8 to close the two rural sites, citing mounting financial losses and other factors. 

The closures are slated for October, and could result in 1,200 layoffs.

But Mr. McKinley said he hopes Morgantown-based WVU Medicine can keep Ohio Valley Medical Center operating at some level and help retain affected jobs, WVNews.com reported. 

He told the website WVU Medicine seeks to expand Wheeling (W. Va.) Hospital, but that takes time, and the health system might be able to move some services to Ohio Valley Medical Center in the intervening period. 

WVU Medicine representatives declined to comment to WVNews.com when asked whether there are plans for Ohio Valley Medical Center.

Regarding East Ohio Regional Hospital, Ohio County Commissioner Tim McCormick told the website the commission's hands are essentially tied as far as helping because Irvine, Calif.-based Alecto Healthcare Services, which owns both hospitals, made the closure decision and is a private for-profit business.

"The local folks are trying to do what they can, but it’s very difficult for us to do anything," he added. "I haven't been given figures regarding what is owed, how much they need and that type of thing, so it's difficult to determine what's going on."

Meanwhile, healthcare organizations in the area have offered job opportunities to workers affected by the impending closures. 

 

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