Buying OVMC Not Prudent Idea
As noted above, a suggestion for keeping Ohio Valley Medical Center in Wheeling open was made by an official of Alecto, the company that owns the hospital, in a letter to Gov. Jim Justice.
It involves spending as much as $30 million in taxpayers’ money, and it should not be considered.
Alecto leases the OVMC property from Medical Properties Trust, a Birmingham, Alabama, company. Closure of the hospital leaves a big, vacant health care campus owned by MPT.
Alecto official Michael Sarrao proposed in this letter that the state of West Virginia provide $25 million to $30 million to WVU Medicine, with which the OVMC campus could be bought and the hospital reopened. WVU Medicine already is involved in attempting to replace some services formerly provided by OVMC.
WVU Medicine is working through Reyolds Memorial Hospital in Glen Dale, which it owns, and Wheeling Hospital, which it manages.
The idea of limiting flexibility through the purchase of the OVMC campus with taxpayer dollars is not appealing. WVU Medicine has a better chance of maintaining critical services and providing health care jobs if it retains that flexibility.