Sen. Chafin pleased with Health Care ruling

By Kyle Lovern

November 22, 2013

WILLIAMSON - Senator H. Truman Chafin (D-Mingo) said today that he was very pleased and hopeful with the unanimous order issued yesterday by the West Virginia Health Care Authority (HCA) ordering that the files in the matter of the Certificate of Need (CON) issued to Community Health Systems, Inc., (CHS) be reopened for comment until January 6, 2014.

Chafin, along with Senators Stollings and Kirkendoll, contend that there was no mention of selling or a potential sale of Williamson Memorial Hospital to the Appalachian Regional Health Care System (ARH) when CHS submitted its request for a CON some time ago.

The Senators, all from Southern West Virginia, formally filed an objection to the issuance of the CON based upon CHS not disclosing its intent to sell to ARH which would adversely affect, according to the Senators, the operation of Mingo County’s only acute care hospital and its more than 200 employees.

In his letter of November 4, 2013 to the HCA, Senator Chafin requested that the file be reopened and that HCA reconsider the CHS case allowing the HCA to gather more information that may adversely affect the City of Williamson, Mingo County and Southern West Virginia by the potential sale of the hospital to the ARH non-profit system.

“Small towns such as Williamson and Mingo County need access to reliable health care and particularly acute care hospitals,” Chafin said.

“It is imperative that we fight to save Williamson Memorial Hospital and its 200 plus employees and the services that they provide for the people of Williamson, Mingo County and Southern West Virginia,” Senator Chafin said from his law office in Williamson Thursday.