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Eastern Panhandle hospitals combine boards

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By Marla Pisciotta

For The State Journal

Hampshire Memorial Hospital in Romney and War Memorial Hospital in Berkeley Springs will share a governing board of directors, effective July 1.

Neil McLaughlin, president of both hospitals, said the administration has been looking at how best to provide board structure for the two hospitals. Currently there are 10 governing board members for each of the hospitals.

Hampshire Memorial is a 14-acute-care-bed facility with a six-bed outpatient surgical department, a six-bed emergency department and a 30-bed long term care unit.

Also designated as a critical care hospital, War has 25 inpatient beds, 15 long-term care beds and a six-bed emergency department.

“For a while now we have wondered why we have two boards,” McLaughlin said. The new governing nine-voting-member board will be made up of four people from Hampshire County and four from Morgan County.

Hampshire County board members include: Dr. Anthony Haywood, president of the medical staff; Ray Stein; Janet Cheshire; and Steve Slonaker, president of the Hampshire County Commission.

Members of the governing board in Morgan County are: Brad Close, Tom Welsey, Becky Stotler and Dr. Mathew Polk, president of the medical staff.

McLaughlin said the president position changes every July 1. Dr. Joseph Hashem will replace Polk.

Todd Way, senior vice president of regional operations for Valley Health, is the sole Valley Health member.

McLaughlin said the governing boards will meet at the same time, conduct business for one hospital, close the meeting and open a meeting up for the second hospital. Both boards will meet quarterly.

“This will be a more streamlined governing board. We can share the wealth of the experience from board members of the two sister counties,” McLaughlin said.

Quality committees will focus on patient outcomes, which are expected to include: core measure results, readmission rates, complications and mortality ratios, patient satisfaction for inpatient, outpatient and emergency department and patient safety issues.