Highmark WV responds to WVU Health Systems taking over Wheeling Hospital


WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) — Highmark WV has released a statement to WTRF regarding WVU Health System taking over Wheeling Hospital.

Highmark WV has an existing provider contract with Wheeling Hospital and now a new long-term contract with WVU Medicine.  This announcement should have no impact on our member’s ability to access this facility or its employed physicians.  Wheeling Hospital has served the Wheeling area community well for many years, and we look forward to our continued relationship

Highmark WV

Wheeling Hospital is now under new management.

WVU Medicine has entered into a management agreement with Wheeling Hospital. The announcement of the change in management was made Thursday.

With this new affiliation, WVU Medicine is continuing to expand into the Ohio Valley. On June 1, they entered into a partnership with Barnesville Hospital in Belmont County. Now, less than three weeks later, they have announced an agreement with Wheeling Hospital.

“We have always had an interest in the Northern Panhandle and the Upper Ohio Valley and I think WVU Medicine, with our news of The Health Plan and now Wheeling Hospital, it just reaffirms our commitment to the folks here in the Upper Ohio Valley that WVU Medicine is going to provide the highest quality of care to the residents here and strengthen that care,” said Douglass Harrison, Wheeling Hospital’s new CEO.

Harrison will oversee all hospital operations as Wheeling Hospital’s new CEO. Over the past four years, Harrison has served as executive vice president of healthcare integration and network development for WVU Medicine. He came to WVU after serving for more than 11 years as an executive at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

While some things at Wheeling Hospital are changing, Harrison says that it will remain a Catholic hospital.

“That was very important to the board that they maintain their Catholic identity and we certainly want that to continue,” Harrison said.

Under the agreement, Wheeling Hospital’s Board of Directors will continue to govern the facility. The board will have final responsibility for quality of care and financial oversight.

“This is a management arrangement,” said Lawrence Bandi, chairman of Wheeling Hospital’s Board of Directors. “So we were looking for someone that would have the ability to manage the hospital and with Douglass Harrison in that role and his connections with WVU and the networking that he has the capability of working with. So we have some arrangements already with WVU and the hospital covering neurological services, etc.”

The agreement between WVU Medicine and Wheeling Hospital officially went into effect on Thursday, June 20.

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