MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Officials at Wetzel County Hospital and WVU Medicine-West Virginia University Health System announced Oct. 19 that they have entered into a clinical affiliation to better meet the needs of the people in the Northern Panhandle and surrounding region.

“Given our proximity to hospitals in the WVU Health System and our shared common goals and objectives, our Board of Trustees and County Commissioners concluded it was in the best interest of our patients and the communities we serve to enter into a formal affiliation with WVU Medicine and the WVU Health System,” Brian Felici, Wetzel County Hospital chief executive officer, said. “It is our mutual intention to establish cooperative clinical and operational programs and engage in other collaborative efforts directed toward promoting accessible, high quality, affordable healthcare to those residing in Wetzel, Tyler, and Marshall counties.”

George Friedline, chairman of the Wetzel County Hospital Board of Trustees, said the Board is excited to be part of WVU Medicine and the System.

“I would like to publicly acknowledge and thank the Wetzel County Commissioners and the Wetzel County Hospital Board of Trustees for their efforts in making this affiliation a reality,” Friedline added. “The benefits for our patients as a result of this partnership are going to be significant, and it is our expectation that our medical services and capabilities will expand.”

The agreement builds on the relationship Wetzel County Hospital already has with WVU Medicine physicians at Reynolds Memorial Hospital in Glen Dale and will allow for the development of onsite specialty services, including cardiology, surgery, oncology, orthopaedics, and women’s health services.

It will also allow for increased clinical integration, in areas such as emergency medicine and hospitalist-managed patients, between the New Martinsville-based Wetzel County Hospital, J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, United Hospital Center in Bridgeport, Camden Clark Medical Center in Parkersburg, and other WVU Medicine-affiliated entities.

“As the state’s flagship academic medical center, it is our responsibility to treat people in all corners of the state and the region. But, we also understand that traveling to Morgantown for care is difficult for many people. That’s why we want to bring our experts to people in their communities, where it is most beneficial to them,” Albert Wright, WVU Medicine president and CEO, said. “We are grateful for the warm reception we’ve already received at Wetzel County Hospital, and we look forward to building off of the great foundation that already exists there.”

The current Wetzel County Hospital is a 58-bed, County-owned facility that was established in April 1920.

For more information: Angela Jones-Knopf, Manager of Media Relations, 304-293-7087