Area Hospitals’ Employment Remains Healthy

By LINDA COMINS

Staff Writer

WHEELING — Medical-related careers continue to provide a major source of employment in the Upper Ohio Valley.

As the region’s population ages, the need for hospital treatment, outpatient services and other forms of medical care remains strong.

Among area medical facilities, Wheeling Hospital and its divisions employ the largest number of workers. In fact, Wheeling Hospital is currently the ninth-largest private employer in West Virginia.

Gregg Warren, the hospital’s vice president of marketing and public relations, said, “The total number of employees for Wheeling Hospital and its divisions, Belmont Community Hospital in Bellaire and Harrison Community Hospital in Cadiz, is 3,071.”

Offering a breakdown for each of its facilities, he said Wheeling Hospital alone employs 2,410 people. In addition, the hospital’s two off-campus health centers and several offices employ 123 people.

Bishop Joseph H. Hodges Continuous Care Center of Wheeling Hospital has 139 workers, while the adjacent Howard Long Wellness Center maintains a workforce of 54.

According to data released by WorkForce West Virginia, Wheeling Hospital ranked ninth on its list of 100 largest private employers in the state in 2017. WVU Medicine topped the state’s list.

In the Mountain State, “the top 10 employers of March 2017 had a total of 2,247 more employees than top 10 employers of 2016,” WorkForce West Virginia officials stated. More recent statistics have not been released.

Meanwhile, Wheeling Hospital’s Belmont Community Hospital division employs 134 people currently, Warren said. In addition, Belmont Community Hospital’s six health centers have a total of 60 workers.

Harrison Community Hospital, which is another division of Wheeling Hospital, has 138 employees, he said. An additional 13 people work in the Harrison Community Hospital Professional Building.

Regarding the nature of jobs within the medical setting, Warren said, “There are 475 various types of clinical and non-clinical positions within the Wheeling Hospital family of health care facilities.”

The next largest medical employer in the Upper Ohio Valley is Trinity Health System in Steubenville. Keith Murdock, director of community relations for Trinity, said there are a total of 1,883 employees across the system.

The breakdown includes 1,336 employees at Trinity Medical Center West and 201 workers at Trinity Medical Center East, Murdock said. Both hospital facilities are located in Steubenville.

Karin Janiszewski, director of marketing and public relations for Ohio Valley Medical Center in Wheeling and East Ohio Regional Hospital in Martins Ferry, said, “OVMC employs around 950 and EORH employs around 430.”

Among those in the two hospitals’ workforce, Janiszewski said, “We have cleaning attendants, dietitians, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, nurse practitioners, nurse navigators, dietitians, radiology technicians, medical residents, medical office staff, administrative staff, information technology, biomedical engineers, physician assistants, physicians who specialize in general medicine and physicians with specific specializations.”

Cole M. Elliott, director of human resources and corporate compliance at WVU Medicine Reynolds Memorial Hospital, said, “As a part of WVU Medicine’s 16,000-strong team, Reynolds Memorial Hospital has just under 450 employees in Glen Dale with the newest addition of the Cancer Center. While we expand services and volumes continue to grow, Reynolds Memorial Hospital and WVU Medicine always look to attract the best and brightest in health care from providers to nurses, ancillary and support staff.”

Currently, WVU Medicine is pushing to fill vacancies for registered nurses across its inpatient units. “We continue to recruit primary care and specialty providers to enhance our service offerings on a local level,” Elliott said.

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