Williamson Memorial Hospital announces plans to close

Published: Mar. 30, 2020 at 9:42 PM EDT
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Williamson Memorial Hospital announced it will be closing in a news release Monday evening.

According to the release, the expected closure date is unknown but will be around April 21.

The release states that the hospital has been operating as a bankruptcy case and had several potential buyers, but the COVID-19 pandemic "totally disrupted" the process.

The potential buyers "are now devoting almost all of their time and energy to preparing their current facilities to be in a position to deal with the crisis. As a result, these entities have no interest in taking over operations of Williamson anytime in the near future – much less in early April as had previously been anticipated, and the funding obtained in February will be insufficient to keep the hospital open for any extended period."

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, released a statement about the hospital closing, saying, “It is impossible to overstate how essential our rural hospitals are in West Virginia. Williamson Memorial Hospital is the only hospital in Mingo County. As the COVID-19 pandemic increases the need for medical facilities, we must do everything possible to keep our rural hospitals running. It is unconscionable that during a pandemic we are closing any hospital or health center that can provide the care West Virginians need. I will continue to work with hospital leadership and state and local officials on next steps to ensure that Mingo County will not go without treatment during this terrible pandemic,”

Gov. Jim Justice described the closure of the hospital as "the very last thing that we want" and that the state is exhausting all possibilities to try and keep the hospital open.

Williamson Memorial Hospital’s Interim CEO, Gene Preston, said, “The Williamson community is strong! It has been my privilege to lead the hospital through this difficult time. I am saddened by the need for this closure. This community deserves access to basic hospital services.”