BELMONT COUNTY, OH (WTRF) — When talking about reopening Ohio’s economy, 6th District Congressman Bill Johnson said his phone has been ringing off the hook, and several of those calls were on opening back up East Ohio Regional Hospital. As Belmont County has been hit hard with this pandemic, this talk comes at a critical time.

While he couldn’t jump into specifics, Johnson said efforts are in full force to fix this need.

Since East Ohio Regional Hospital’s closure, officials have been working to get it running again.
Because it’s a private entity, Johnson has been searching for a private buyer. Multiple big hospital systems like the Cleveland Clinic, Marietta Memorial Health System, and more have inquired but not taken the lot.

Since the pandemic reared its head, there has been a fire under officials to get more than one health system back up in the large county. This would ease the weight on the only hospital in Belmont right now, WVU Medicine Barnesville.

We are having dialogue with several different groups about the potential of re-opening the Ohio side of that hospital system. And when that hospital system closed, that left us with one community hospital in Barnesville.

So, we’ve got some work to do to bring access to quality healthcare back up to an acceptable standard in that part of the state.

U.S. Congressman Bill Johnson, Ohio 6th District

Even with work put on pause, the congressman says Belmont is the fastest growing county in his district. He recalled the $10-billion Ethan Cracker Plant that is keeping high hopes for many in the area.

But as for healthcare in Belmont county, especially in such a dire time, fingers crossed, we can start to see movement at EORH soon.