Reactions ranged from applause to tears as East Ohio Regional Hospital reopened

Belmont County

Martins Ferry, OH (WTRF)- The hospital was shut down by former owner Alecto a year and a half ago.

But, it has been purchased by a new owner and revitalized, with 400 employees already on the job.

Friday’s opening started with a prayer.

Dear God, we ask you to bless us in this institution, pour your bountiful blessings on us, so this can be a true place of healing for our community. said Rev. William Webster, pastor and chaplain.

Rev. William Webster, Pastor and Chaplain

“It’s been 495 days since we signed off,” a nurse said in the radio call. “495 days since our community was devastated by the loss of East Ohio Regional Hospital’s services.”

I heard the sign-off when I was out in Arizona. It is emotional.

Bernie Albertini, Chief Operating Officer

Outside, firefighters and emergency squads had lined up, each giving a responding radio call.

“Station 51, Mount Pleasant, would like to welcome East Ohio back to the area,” was just one of the many tributes.

This is a very emotional day. I worked the night we closed. I was the last nurse to punch out. I had the last patient here, and I just now got the first patient today.

Heidi Terri, RN

Police say this makes their work much easier.

Since the hospital closed, if we arrested someone who needed medical treatment prior going to the county jail, we either had to take them to Trinity Hospital in Steubenville or to Barnesville Hospital. So yes, thank you.

Chief John McFarland, Martins Ferry Police Department

Dr. John Johnson, who purchased and reopened the hospital, is already planning another wing to fill another void.

There is another huge unmet need for both psychiatric care and substance abuse in this area. This has been my primary passion.”

Dr. John Johnson

He said we can expect a new psychiatric unit by early summer.

Meanwhile for all physical ailments, they’re here for you.

We can handle every single emergency that this community has. From babies to pediatric patients to surgical interventions to acute trauma.

Dr. Michael Tatro, ER Physician

There was a lot of work involved in getting this hospital opened back up.

Mayor John Davies, Martins Ferry

Most of the credit goes to Dr. Johnson and his team. We just prayed a lot, and gave a lot of support. This is an important place for Eastern Ohio, so this is an incredible day for this community.

Rev. William Webster, Pastor and Chaplain

It’s humbling, how much people want this hospital open

Bernie Albertini, Chief Operating Officer

The hospital had served the community for 113 years before it was closed in September 2019. 

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