FAIRMONT, W.Va. — The Fairmont Medical Center opened for business Tuesday at the former Fairmont Regional Hospital under the banner of WVU Medicine.
“We opened at seven this morning, we had our first patient come in the (emergency department). through a squad at 8:10 a.m. and the ED is already filling up,” WVU Medicine and CEO Albert Wright said during an appearance Tuesday on MetroNews “Talkline.” “There’s obviously a need for services here.”
Former Fairmont Regional Hospital owner Alecto announced in February its plans to close the hospital in 60 days, it left town after about a 30 days, leaving 528 employees with no jobs. Gov. Jim Justice, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin and others worked on a solution. WVU Medicine ultimately agreed to operate an emergency room, provide x-ray services and some labs out of the old hospital building with plans to construct a new facility in Fairmont.
The Mon Health System has also received approval to build a health care facility in Fairmont.
Wright said they’ve been busy the last few months getting the old building in working order. He said his team would develop hospital service for the region as reopening continues.
“We’re going to see how things go, as you reopen are patients going to come back or are more patients going to come now that it’s under WVU Medicine,” Wright said Tuesday prior to a scheduled ribbon cutting. “We’ll add those services as we go.”
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Wright said the area really does need adequate healthcare services to support economic growth and quality of life.
“Fairmont, Bridgeport, Clarksburg corridor is an important area for the state and economic development and we need to have good healthcare services in Marion County.”
Wright said residents can expect top quality care when they come the “new” Fairmont Medical Center.
“These are full WVU Medicine physicians,” Wright said “So, it’s the exact same emergency team and inpatient hospitals that you would get in Morgantown or Bridgeport.”
Some of the former workers at FRMC have been hired. Wright said they’ll have a staff of about 110 employees.
Gov. Justice’s plan announced last week for the $1.25 billion in CARES Act funding the state received for the pandemic includes a $10 million allocation for the Fairmont hospital.
“This funding will reimburse Fairmont Hospital for expenses incurred while setting up as a COVID-19 surge hospital. WVU will continue to operate this hospital until a new hospital is built,” the governor’s office said in information released last week.
MetroNews reporter Jeff Jenkins contributed to this story.