Officials fighting to keep OVMC and EORH workers, working

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WHEELING, W.Va (WTRF)

The fight has begun to save two local hospitals scheduled to close… or at least the roughly 1200 employees who are going to be jobless because of it.

According to Wheeling Mayor, Glenn Elliot, both city and state leaders are going to bat to keep these workers employed.

Mayor Elliot told 7News on Friday that he’s been in communication with West Virginia Senators Joe Manchin (D) and Shelley Moore Capito (R) about what action can be taken to prevent such a massive job hit.

“We know that whatever is happening moving forward is going to require some restructuring of that hospital in some capacity. We recognize that but I am not willing to see these jobs go away,” said the Elliot.

Mayor Elliot told 7News he’s had discussions with potential buyers of the OVMC property. He can not specifically name these prospects but he does note these are buyers related to the healthcare industry.

The mayor is also using the hospitals un-used buildings on the eastern portion of the campus as a selling point and has sent copies of the floor plan to building developers.

7News viewers and readers have questioned whether or not the city would consider using the OVMC property as a space for the proposed public safety building estimated to break ground sometime within the next couple years. Elliot says this is unlikely.

“That is something that we will certainly look at but we’re still going to have to pay for it and building a new building at a minimum will cost 10 to 12 million dollars anywhere we build it, including there,” said Elliot.

According to the mayor, officials are also putting up a fight to ensure they retain the psychiatric services offered at both OVMC and EORH.

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