RIPLEY, W.Va. — An agreement between Jackson General Hospital and WVU Health Systems could provide patients with additional resources, and not at the expense of changes to the Ripley facility’s staff.

The deal, which went into effect on Sept. 1, is another facility in WVU Health Systems’ network, including health centers in Morgantown and throughout the state.

“What that really does is allow the folks at Jackson General to start to have the expertise of WVU Medicine as they start to plan their future around information technology, additions or replacement of current facilities, recruitment of medical staff,” WVU Health Systems president Albert Wright said. “It allows us to work very closely together.”

Wright said this includes sharing information electronically and “filling holes;” communication between hospitals would mean easier referrals for patients, but Wright acknowledges some patients will want to keep their current doctors.

“Those obviously take precedent and usually are the first choice,” he said. “We don’t wish referrals to go in one specific direction, but usually if we do a good job, we’ll see an uptick from previous times.”

Wright also said he anticipates all of the medical staff will remain.

“We’ll work with the medical staff leaders and (Jackson General Hospital CEO) Stephanie McCoy and say, ‘Where are areas we can supplement and work together?'” he said

As part of the agreement, McCoy is an employee of WVU Hospitals. According to Wright, no representative of the hospital system will serve on the Ripley facility’s board.

MetroNews affiliate WMOV Radio in Ravenswood contributed to this report.

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