FAIRMONT, WV (WBOY) – WVU Medicine is leaving its plan to build a new hospital at Fairmont’s Gateway Connector and decided to now go in the direction of rebuilding their Fairmont Medical Center, which was previously Fairmont Regional Medical Center.
The $110 million, multiyear plan includes a lot of upgrades to the old facility that was originally built in the late 1930s.
“This is a fixer-upper,” Albert L. Wright Jr., West Virginia University Health Systems president and CEO said. “Every window in this facility needs replaced, every roof needs replaced, just about every pipe in it needs replaced but we’re going to do it. This is really right in the core of Fairmont and Marion County and serves the entire region. It’s right by Fairmont State University so this is the right decision and the right thing to do so we’re excited to come to this point.”
Wright said if they chose to make a brand-new faculty at the Gateway Connector, it would’ve cost WVU Medicine twice as much money.
Fairmont Medical Center currently has an emergency department up and running. The additions will bring the total number of inpatient beds up to 80 from its current 42, add 30 skilled nursing beds, re-operationalize and renovate the operating rooms and procedure rooms, and add to the outpatient imaging, laboratory, and infusion services already offered onsite. The plan also includes infrastructure upgrades to the hospital’s central energy plant, helipad, façade, and roofing.
West Virginia Governor Jim Justice commended WVU Medicine on their decision and said he supports this plan because it’s not only good for healthcare in Marion County, but also for jobs and the economy.
“They’re bringing greatness right here to Marion County right to this facility. The facility that all of you believed in,” Justice said.
The closest WVU Medicine hospitals to the county are in Morgantown and Bridgeport. Wright said it was obvious to him that there is a need for a large hospital in the area.
“There are a tremendous number of patients that come out of Marion County and require, not only outpatient health care but significant in-patient health care,” Wright said. “We’re taking care of a lot of folks at this building and we’re still having to transfer a lot of patients to either Morgantown or Bridgeport.”
Some of the plans are still pending “certificate of need” approvals but Wright said when it’s all done the community will have a hospital with over 100 beds and over 500 employees.
The West Virginia University Health System, West Virginia’s largest health system with more than 1,800 beds and largest private employer, is comprised of 16 member hospitals, including a children’s hospital; three managed hospitals; and five institutes, all anchored by a 700-bed academic medical center in Morgantown, West Virginia.