A hearing on the proposed sale of OVMC and EORH has tentatively been set.
A Certificate of Need hearing is tentatively scheduled for the week of April 17 in Charleston.
Back in January, OVMC announced its pending sale to Alecto. Wheeling Hospital requested the hearing last Friday, saying Alecto isn’t the only suitor wanting to buy the hospital and that the other entity offers a far more substantial and rewarding purchase agreement.
7News asked Alecto’s attorney Mike Garrison if Wheeling Hospital is the other entity.
“If they have this information and they care as much about the community as they suggest, you would think they would be more than willing to make a big reveal and let folks know who this other purchaser is,” said Garrison.
Wheeling Hospital also based their hearing request on what they said was concern for OVMC employees. They said Alecto has never said that OVMC’s employees would still have a job.
Garrison said, “We’ve got Alecto, who wants to enter the Wheeling market, and has already committed, contrary to what Wheeling Hospital says, has already committed to maintaining all employee positions at OV after the purchase.”
OVHS&E President & CEO Michael Caruso said he has absolutely assured that the employees will stay on. As for the hearing, he’s not opposed to the process.
Caruso said, “I don’t know if anybody wins or loses. I think dragging it out only hurts our community in the long run. I think that is why people end up leaving the West Virginia Market. The reality is we should be working together in a lot of ways in an effort to be more productive and be more collaborative as well as build up our community versus continuing to tear it down.”
On Friday, Wheeling Hospital released the following statement:
“Alecto’s statements are simply misleading. Wheeling Hospital’s request for a hearing is based on a matter of social responsibility and the right for the public to know what may happen to OVMC, one of our community’s assets. OVMC has a role in our community and we are sincerely concerned about the fate of its employees. We have requested a hearing so additional information about the proposed purchase can be made public that otherwise would not be. On one hand, OVMC stated its support of the Certificate of Need (CON) process while its potential buyer, Alecto, is opposed to it. Alecto claims that without the CON, it makes it much easier to acquire OVMC and implies the transaction may be the only way to save the hospital. Alecto is not OVMC’s only suitor. Another entity has and continues to offer a far more substantial and rewarding purchase agreement to OVMC, one that will benefit the hospital and its employees. Alecto’s statement to the news media Friday mentions everything it will do for OVMC’s employees but one thing – ensuring they will have a job. This and other related information should and will be known by the public at the hearing.”
Stay with 7News for continuing coverage of this story.