Wheeling Hospital has officially released a statement regarding the Certificate of Need Hearing.
“Contrary to news media and social media reports, Wheeling Hospital has no interest in seeing OVMC close.
“In regard to our request for a Certificate of Need (CON) hearing, we have a statutory right as an affected party to do so. Hearing requests and hearings are commonly requested by health care providers who will be impacted by projects. In fact, over the years, OVMC itself requested such CON hearings on at least three occasions involving Wheeling Hospital, including the addition of two new medical services and a building expansion project.
“OVMC is a public asset in a situation that could adversely affect its future and that of its employees. It is true we have an interest in the facility, and have spoken to OVMC about acquiring it. OVMC has a role to the community and preserving jobs there is important to us.
“The CON hearing serves as an opportunity for Wheeling Hospital and the public to learn about Alecto’s plans. It will provide a forum for questions to be asked. Like Wheeling Hospital, OVMC is a non-profit hospital. Alecto is an out-of-state, for-profit business. There is a stark difference between a non-profit and for-profit enterprise, and the public needs to understand the full implication of this transaction and how it could affect the community.
“We are not saying we are for or against the sale of OVMC. At this point, there is not enough information known about Alecto’s proposal to form an opinion either way. We simply are attempting to learn more about the proposal in a public setting and whether it could adversely affect Wheeling Hospital and the community. Since Alecto is opposed to the public hearing, perhaps it has something to hide.”
Thomas G. Casto, Legal Counsel for Wheeling
Lewis, Glasser, Casey & Rollins, Charleston, WV