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Webster hospital joining DHS

WEBSTER SPRINGS — Webster County Memorial Hospital is becoming part of the Davis Health System network.

The Webster County Commission, the Webster County Building Commission, and the hospital have agreed to transition the operations of WCMH into the DHS network.

Under the arrangement, a subsidiary of DHS will lease and assume the operation of WCMH and its affiliated facilities later in 2021.

“With the move, the two hospital systems will better serve the patients and families of Webster County communities,” a Wednesday press release states. “This comes after more than two years of study, discussion, planning and negotiation.”

WCMH Board Chair Mary Ann Carpenter said the arrangement is necessary as the healthcare industry changes.

“This is vital to our county,” Carpenter states in the release. “We have been educating ourselves and discussing the idea for years. We are enthusiastic that the shared strength of our organizations will enhance sustained delivery of healthcare services to our residents.”

On April 7, the final version of the agreement was approved and executed by the Webster County Commission and Webster County Building Commission. It was approved by the DHS Board of Directors on April 8, and by the WCMH Board of Trustees on April 12.

“It’s an exciting day,” Webster County Commissioner/Vice President Anna Carpenter said. “The hospital is a boon to the community, and signing this agreement positively impacts the future of healthcare.”

David Gillespie of the Webster County Building Commission stated, “We have been working with Davis Health System for two years, and I’m pleased with the cooperation and information sharing. I’m glad it’s finally complete.”

“The groups are targeting a date in late Fall 2021 for WCMH to become an integrated member of Davis Health System,” the press release reads. “Work will begin immediately to secure all necessary governmental approvals for the proposed transaction.”

“The focus of this arrangement is to increase services, and improve the health of the communities,” DHS President and CEO Vance Jackson said. “We are very enthusiastic about this and thank the Commission and the community for their support.”

On March 22 the WCMH Board announced the appointment of Bill Dempsey as the new CEO of the hospital.

Webster County Memorial Hospital is a critical access hospital located in Webster Springs which offers emergency medicine, EMS services, inpatient and swing bed care, inpatient and outpatient pharmacy, laboratory and radiology services, pulmonary and cardiac rehabilitation, and social services. It also includes the WCMH Physical Wellness & Rehabilitation Center in Cowen and the rural health clinic at WCMH.

Davis Health System represents advanced community healthcare across seven counties in the Potomac Highlands area. The health system employs more than 1,050 workers and operates two hospitals; Davis Medical Center, an 80-bed acute care hospital in Elkins, and Broaddus Hospital, a 25-bed critical access hospital in Philippi. Other care services include long term care, therapy and rehabilitation programs, Women’s HealthCare, home care, ENT, ophthalmology, endoscopy, surgery, orthopedics, urology, family practice, podiatry, pediatrics, geriatric behavioral health, wound care, advanced diagnostics, emergency care, a sleep center, pain management center, walk-in care clinics and pharmacy.

Davis Medical Center and WVU Medicine partner for a Heart & Vascular Institute on their campus in Elkins, and a Commission on Cancer accredited Cancer Care Center, also in Elkins.

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