Princeton Community Hospital to join the WVU Health System

Saturday, October 16, 2021

The Princeton Community Hospital (PCH) Association Board of Directors, the City of Princeton, and the West Virginia University Health System have signed a letter of intent for the WVU Health System to become the sole member of PCH and fully integrate the hospital into the System.

“West Virginia’s terrain is one of the things that makes it a beautiful state. Unfortunately, it also makes it difficult for people in the more mountainous regions of the state to access the healthcare they need. That’s why it’s important for us to bring Princeton Community Hospital into the WVU Medicine family, so that the folks in the southernmost regions of West Virginia don’t have to cross state lines to find high quality care,” Albert L. Wright, Jr., president and CEO of the WVU Health System, said. “As the academic medical center of the state’s land-grant university, we are responsible for caring for all West Virginians, and this will help us better serve the people in southern West Virginia.”

PCH entered into a management agreement and clinical affiliation with WVU Hospitals in December 2020. In July, Karen Bowling, executive vice president of government affairs for the WVU Health System and president and CEO of WVU Medicine Summersville Regional Medical Center, was named president and CEO of PCH.

“Throughout my time at Summersville Regional Medical Center, I have seen firsthand the benefits that come from being a member of the WVU Health System – it’s a win for community, it’s a win for our employees, and, most importantly, it’s a win for our patients,” Bowling said. “I know that the same will hold true for Mercer County, the employees of PCH, and our patients, who will have greater access to the specialty and subspecialty care that WVU Medicine provides.”

PCH, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2020, is a fully accredited 203-bed acute care multispecialty medical facility serving a 10-county region in southern West Virginia and southwestern Virginia. It offers advanced medical technologies and procedures, from state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging to minimally invasive surgery. In addition, PCH provides behavioral health services at The Behavioral Health Pavilion of the Virginias, a 64-bed psychiatric hospital in Bluefield, and also operates PCH Bluefield, a full-service emergency department in Bluefield (formerly Bluefield Regional Medical Center).

“I couldn’t be more excited for the future of healthcare in southern West Virginia and southwest Virginia. Becoming part of WVU Medicine will ensure expanded services, greater access to healthcare, and the highest quality of healthcare in our region,” James “Rusty” Sarver III, president of the PCH Board, said. “With this agreement, I have no doubt we have secured healthcare for our service area for the next 50 years.”

Mayor David E. Graham said he believes the move will not only benefit healthcare in the region but will benefit the local economy as well.

“The City of Princeton is very pleased to be a part of the expansion of high quality healthcare for the entire region. This expansion will not only have a positive impact on healthcare, but will offer many additional opportunities for the growth of businesses and employment,” Graham said. “We look forward to WVU Health System membership and all the benefits of expanded services for the long term.”

The parties anticipate closing to occur in late 2022 upon receipt of all necessary governmental approvals.