WVU Hospitals CEO talks expansion plans
April 23, 2012 ·
A June date is set for a public hearing to discuss Mon General Hospital’s challenge to the need for expansion plans. WVU Hospitals have a nearly $250 million expansion plan in the works that will build a new tower attached to Ruby Memorial.
Earlier this year, WVU Hospitals announced plans to expand its facilities in Morgantown.
This project includes a new 10-story tower attached to Ruby Memorial Hospital.
The plan includes more room for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the Emergency Department and the Jon Michael Moore Trauma Center.
Also, the Child Development Center and Rosenbaum Family House will be moved, but progress stalled when Mon General challenged the need for the project, and asked for a hearing from the West Virginia Health Care Authority.
Bruce McClymonds is the President and CEO of WVU Hospitals.
"The project has really been delayed probably by about four months, minimum. We had originally planned to start construction of the new Family House and the new Child Development Center by the end of August of this year," he said.
"Given this delay, we don’t expect a decision from the Health Care Authority until probably November, maybe as early as October. But given that schedule, we likely won’t start those construction projects, for those two facilities, until at least December."
But it could take even longer than that, because the Health Care Authority’s decision could also be appealed.
The hearing with the authority is now scheduled for June 12.
In the meantime, McClymonds says WVU Hospitals can proceed with a few things it needs to do for the project.
"We are able to proceed with some planning. We’ve engaged with an architectural firm, actually a couple of different architectural firms: one to deal with the house and child development center project, and one to deal with the main project," he said.
"We can proceed with spending some money with the architectural firms. We are limited by the Health Care Authority rules to spend no more than $2.9 million without a certificate of need."
McClymonds says there’s a great need for more room at Ruby Memorial Hospital.
He says the hospital gets a large quantity of patients from outside of Morgantown that need care there, and the number of beds for patients simply isn’t enough.
"It’s really the patients in West Virginia that are suffering. We get about 5,000 transfers from other hospitals every year. About 20 percent of the admissions to WVU Hospitals are actually transfers from other facilities," McClymonds said.
"When we’re full, those transfers are put on hold, and this delay will simply delay the point in time at which we will have the additional capacity to take care of those patients."
McClymonds says it’s permissible for the two parties to speak before the hearing, but he says conversations with Mon General aren’t progressing significantly.
A Mon General spokesman didn’t comment when contacted for this story.