Gov. Justice visits Fairmont Medical Center, joins WVU Medicine president to provide progress update

10/22/2020

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FAIRMONT, WV – Gov. Jim Justice visited Fairmont Medical Center today, greeting dozens of hospital staff members and joining Albert Wright, President and CEO of WVU Medicine, in providing an update on progress at the facility.

“It’s really a gratifying day for me to be able to stop by and see the progress we’ve made,” Gov. Justice said. “Things are going well, maybe even exceeding expectations. And, as we exceed expectations, we’re just going to be able to do more, employ more, and get bring in more services.”
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In mid-February, prior ownership of the facility – which was known as Fairmont Regional Medical Center – announced plans to permanently close the hospital within 60 days.

Later that same day, Gov. Justice pledged to do everything in his power to ensure the continued operation of a community hospital in Fairmont.

“When it boils right down to it, we have to have our community hospitals,” Gov. Justice said on Thursday. “This is the only hospital in Marion County. For the people of Fairmont, which is our seventh-largest city in West Virginia, to not have a hospital was unacceptable.”

Within two days, Gov. Justice held a meeting with hospital administrators, doctors, and other staff members to discuss financial challenges and evaluate options. After that, the Governor immediately began meeting with local officials and leaders with WVU to discuss potential solutions.
Governor meets with hospital leadership: February 20, 2020
“We had a lot of jobs here and we had people from the community who need this hospital because it’s close,” Gov. Justice said. “From that point forward, the great team at WVU really stepped up.”

“Governor Justice called Dr. Gee and I immediately and said we have to figure out what we’re going to do at Fairmont long-term,” Wright said on Thursday. “I can honestly say, if it wasn’t for Governor Justice, we would not be here today. I think we all owe him a debt of gratitude.”
In March, less than one month later, Gov. Justice announced that the facility would be able to continue operating under the umbrella of WVU Medicine, and that a new, state-of-the-art, full-service 100-bed facility would be constructed, preserving hundreds of jobs and convenient access to quality healthcare for the entire Fairmont community and across Marion County for years to come.
In June, WVU Medicine held a grand opening ceremony for their newly-renovated Fairmont Medical Center; a campus of J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital.

“This is a fabulous hospital, historically, and we’re building it back up,” Wright continued.

Fairmont Medical Center is now home to a full-service emergency department, open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, serving an average of approximately 40 patients per day.

The emergency department is staffed by board-certified emergency medicine physicians, and is equipped with a fully-functioning lab and imaging suite. 

Ten acute care inpatient beds are available for admitted patients.
“It’s a real gratifying moment for me, because I know that this could’ve been gone,” Gov. Justice said. “If it’s gone, not only are people without jobs, people of this community might not have had a place to go.

“Our community hospitals are the backbone of our communities, and that’s all there is to it,” Gov. Justice continued. 

“I’m proud to be here,” Wright said. “I’m thankful for how hard the Governor pushed us to make this happen and I think we’ve got a bright future.”
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Contact Information

Jordan Damron, jordan.l.damron@wv.gov

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Office of the Governor
State Capitol, 1900 Kanawha Blvd. E
Charleston, WV 25305

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