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Unable to find buyer, another West Virginia hospital plans to close

FAIRMONT — A northern West Virginia medical center is shutting down, the latest in a string of hospital closings in the state.

In a letter Tuesday, Fairmont Regional Medical Center CEO Bob Adcock notified more than 600 employees that the 207-bed hospital will close, news outlets reported.

“Our plans to reorganize some administrative functions and develop other revenue sources were insufficient to stop the financial losses at FRMC,” according to the letter. “Our efforts to find a buyer or new source of financing were also unsuccessful.”

Adcock said he planned to hold forums with employees to further discuss the closing.

Fairmont Regional Medical Center is owned by California-based Alecto Healthcare, which closed hospitals last year in Wheeling, West Virginia, and Martins Ferry, Ohio.

Del. Mike Caputo, a Marion County Democrat, said on the House floor Tuesday that “it’s just not right” for the workers to lose their jobs.

“Not only is it devastation to their way of life and the way they earn their living, it’s devastation to the health care of our region,” he said.

Fairmont Regional had announced the layoffs of 25 employees in September because of a reduction in patients and revenue.

“There have been people here for over 40 years,” said Fairmont Regional housekeeping employee Chuck Hawkins, who was born at the hospital. “I don’t know what some of these people are going to do. I saw this coming, but I didn’t know it would be this soon. It is a sad day.”

Last month Pleasant Valley Hospital in Point Pleasant announced it is cutting 53 full-time jobs and ending obstetrics services.

Other hospitals have closed in Bluefield and Richwood. Williamson Memorial Hospital filed for bankruptcy in October, and a nonprofit system that operates hospitals in Charleston and South Charleston announced last month that it planned to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy but would remain open.

Officials also recently announced that a hospital in Ashland, Kentucky, near Huntington, West Virginia, would shut down later this year.

The closings and layoffs prompted Gov. Jim Justice to form a task force to address keeping hospitals open.

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