Monday, December 15, 2008 - Valley Health Reaches Agreement to Acquire Morgan County War Memorial Hospital
M. Todd Way, senior vice president for Valley Health said the county will receive an initial payment of $1.5 million and $1.25 million will be paid to the county over the next two years. Completion of the acquisition hinges on Valley Health obtaining approval for a Certificate of Need (CON) to operate the current hospital.

Valley Health will file the CON in early 2009 with the West Virginia Healthcare Authority.  Valley Health has managed War Memorial Hospital since 1989. Way says no changes in staffing are anticipated as a result of this merger.

“Valley Health and War Memorial have developed a strong bond over the last 20 years,” says Way. “We believe residents of Morgan County will benefit from this new relationship, and the additional services and resources Valley Health will bring to the area.”

Valley Health will also submit a CON to construct a new hospital to replace the half-century old facility. The contract requires the hospital be built within two years of approval of the CON. Valley Health anticipates filing this application in the first quarter of 2009. Cost of the new hospital is estimated at approximately $30 million.

John Borg, the administrator of War Memorial, is optimistic about the future. “This affiliation will have a big impact on the community. We will have access to additional resources that will make it possible for us to grow. The prospect of a new hospital is exciting for our patients, and when construction begins, will benefit the economy of Morgan County.”

War Memorial, also non-profit, is licensed by West Virginia and designated by the federal government as a Critical Access Hospital (CAH) with 25 acute care and physical rehabilitation beds and a 16-bed extended care unit. In addition to those inpatient services, its outpatient services include general and specialty surgical services, a 24-hour emergency department, an all-digital medical imaging department, cardiac rehab, home health and an outpatient rehabilitation and wellness facility.

With the addition of War Memorial, Valley Health’s number of licensed hospital beds climbs to 551. Valley Health also operates 166 long term and skilled care beds, and employs over 4,700.

Valley Health is awaiting approval on a CON filed in July with the West Virginia Healthcare Authority to build a replacement hospital in Romney for Hampshire Memorial Hospital, which Valley Health acquired in January 2008.  The plan is to build a 44-bed facility to include 14 acute care beds and 30 long-term care beds. The price tag on the project is estimated at $25-$30 million.

Valley Health also includes 411-bed Winchester Medical Center, plus Warren Memorial Hospital in Front Royal and Shenandoah Memorial Hospital in Woodstock. Other Valley Health services with a presence in West Virginia include Valley Medical Transport, an inter-facility ambulance service with stations in five communities, and Valley Home Care, which provides home oxygen and medical equipment.