MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WTRF) – For parents, when you need medical care for your child, you want it close to home. 

Now, WVU Medicine is making sure that can happen for families in the Ohio Valley. 

The healthcare system announced a new program affiliation between WVU Medicine Children’s, WVU Medicine Reynolds Memorial Hospital and WVU Medicine Wheeling Hospital. 

So, what does that mean for your kids?

If a child in your family needs specialty medical care, they’ll be making fewer trips out of the area.

Wheeling Hospital President & CEO Douglass Harrison explained pediatric specialists have been coming from Morgantown to the hospital once a week to treat patients for nearly a year. This new affiliation means that will continue. Harrison said services will continue being added as demand increases.

If children from either hospital need more specialized care, they won’t have to travel out of the state. 

With WVU Medicine Children’s opening after the first of the year with a brand-new state-of-the-art children’s hospital, really what it means is more localized care. That kids can stay in the state of West Virginia to receive most if not all of the services they were being treated for in the Pittsburgh market. 

We are beyond thrilled to have that hospital open. That hospital in Morgantown is a statewide hospital meant to service the state of West Virginia. That’s the beauty of our state, that we can offer a product like that for all West Virginians to stay at a local level. 

Douglass Harrison, President & CEO, WVU Medicine Wheeling Hospital

Harrison explained this is a regional approach, which means Wheeling Hospital will also be working with Reynolds Memorial Hospital. 

Our mission at WVU Medicine Reynolds Memorial Hospital has always been about bringing world-class healthcare to our patients in our own community. This affiliation with WVU Medicine Children’s will make good on this commitment by giving access to this level of care to the children in our region. As a pediatrician, and parent, I recognize that our children’s health and well-being has to be our top priority.

Dr. David Hess, President & CEO, WVU Medicine Reynolds Memorial Hospital

He added the goal for care in the area is to find a way to combine services for women and children, so they have the best care possible without having to travel. 

Another benefit coming soon for continuity of care for patients is a new electronic medical record system that will be implemented at Wheeling Hospital in April. Harrison said that means doctors will immediately be able to see a patient’s charts if they’re being treated at another hospital.

All of that care, anything that happens in Morgantown, will be instantaneously uploaded to that medical record so our local physicians can see immediately what was being provided with the care in Morgantown so that they can make local decisions. 

Douglass Harrison, President & CEO, WVU Medicine Wheeling Hospital