Details Emerge About Cabell Huntington, St. Mary’s Affiliation, - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Details Emerge About Cabell Huntington, St. Mary’s Affiliation, now described as potential acquisition

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 A day after confirming Cabell Huntington Hospital and St. Mary’s Medical Center were discussing a possible affiliation, Cabell Huntington Hospital employees received an email Aug. 5 sent on behalf of CHH President and CEO Brent Marsteller, which described the news as a potential acquisition.

"Cabell Huntington Hospital Inc. and Pallottine Health Services Inc. are discussing a potential acquisition by Cabell Huntington Hospital of St. Mary’s Medical Center," Marsteller said in the statement. "Both organizations believe that combining will benefit the community by improving quality, access and affordability in the delivery of health care services. They are currently in the initial steps of a process that will occur over an extended period of time aimed at bringing the two organizations together.

“This is a combination that we believe would improve the quality and affordability of health care and improve access throughout the community,” Marsteller said in the email. “These discussions are part of a process that would continue over an extended period of time aimed at bringing the organizations together.”

Cabell Huntington Hospital is a not-for-profit, regional referral center with 303 staffed beds. Cabell Huntington’s market area is 29 counties in southern West Virginia, eastern Kentucky and southern Ohio. It is a teaching hospital and is affiliated with Marshall University schools of medicine and nursing.

Cabell Huntington opened in 1956 as a county-owned facility. In the 1980s, it moved from county control to private nonprofit status. When the new North Tower at Cabell Huntington opened a few years ago, an older part of the hospital became vacant. A fundraising effort for a new children's hospital began. It was named the Hoops Family Children's Hospital.

St. Mary's Medical Center is the largest medical facility in Huntington, and it is Cabell County's largest private employer, with more than 2,600 employees. It has 393 beds. It describes its market area as 20 counties in West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky.

In recent years, St. Mary's bought a mostly vacant shopping center near its main campus and turned it into the St. Mary's Center for Education. 

The two hospitals have been affiliated before. In the late 1990s, they and Pleasant Valley Hospital in Point Pleasant formed Genesis Hospital System to share administrative and other functions. Genesis dissolved a few years later.

“As our strategic plan states, we are continuously identifying new strategic partnerships and collaborations with providers and entities to implement population health management, increase access and manage the cost of health care,” Marsteller said in the letter. “We are extremely excited about the potential of a close working relationship with St. Mary’s Medical Center as we see this as critical to delivering the highest quality care in the most cost effective and efficient manner. In the meantime, we will continue to operate both hospitals independently.”