PARKERSBURG - Camden-Clark Memorial Hospital and St. Joseph's Hospital Thursday announced their intention to join the West Virginia United Health System.
Tom Jones, CEO of United Health System, announced the intended purchase of St. Joseph's while simultaneously affiliating with Camden-Clark Memorial Hospital.
"The joining of these fine institutions into our statewide system with the specific mission of delivering high-quality health care throughout West Virginia will bring tremendous opportunities to residents of the Mid-Ohio Valley," Jones said.
Two Parkersburg hospitals announce deal to join West Virginia United Health System
The announcement was made Thursday afternoon in a press conference at Parkersburg city hall with more than two dozen state, local and corporate officials, including Mike King, CEO at Camden-Clark, Jack Julius, CEO at St. Joseph's, and Steve Peterson, chief financial officer at Signature Hospital Corp., the parent company of St. Joseph's.
Patsy Hardy, secretary of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, also attended, representing Gov. Joe Manchin.
Applications will be filed with state and federal agencies over the next few days for the proposed sale and affiliation. The process may be completed in four to six months, King said.
Tom Jones, CEO of United Health Systems, speaks during Thursday’s press conference on the fifth floor of the City Building. Jones, joined by officials from Camden-Clark Memorial Hospital, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Signature Hospital Corp., parent company of St. Joseph’s, and other state and local officials announced the acquisition of St. Joseph’s and the simultaneous affiliation with Camden-Clark that will create one hospital system in the city. (Photo by Jody Murphy)
In the meantime, things would continue "as is" between Camden-Clark and St. Joseph's.
The move between the two hospitals, which once fought over open heart surgery, was applauded and lauded.
King said given the opportunity the partnership seemed like the best fit for everyone involved.
"We will be cooperative rather than competitive," he said.
Julius said the affiliation provides the area with significant advantages and makes Parkersburg a medical destination.
Mayor Bob Newell said a quarter of the jobs in the city are health-care related.
"This will have a tremendous impact on the community," he said, dubbing the distance between as the "Medical Mile" and describing it as a huge economic generator.
King said incorporating both hospitals in the statewide system anchored by West Virginia University's teaching hospital "will improve the efficiency of operations."
"And we will expand and enhance our services in ways many of us never dreamed possible under the existing arrangement," he said.
The affiliation could generate millions in savings to control spiraling costs that have hit both hospitals in recent years, . eliminate overlapping services and benefit the community with programs and specialties never before offered in the Mid-Ohio Valley, King said.
"We will be stronger, better positioned than today," he said.
Julius called it an historic affiliation.
"We believe the two hospitals already here, now strengthened by this affiliation, can serve the people of the Mid-Ohio Valley best," Julius said.
Jones said officials were engaged in discussions regarding the deal for months. United Health System is purchasing St. Joseph's from Signature for about $87 million, according to officials. Jones also said the health system will be responsible for the debt at Camden-Clark.
"Parkersburg represents a natural progression of the WVU Health Network," he said.