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Williamson Health & Wellness Center Inc. announced April 1 that their $3.68 million bid to purchase most of the assets of Williamson Memorial Hospital was approved.

WILLIAMSON — Williamson Health & Wellness Center Inc.’s $3.68 million bid to purchase most of the assets of Williamson Memorial Hospital has been approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.

The announcement came in a statement on the health care facility’s Facebook page less than two days after officials with WMH announced that they had planned to close the hospital on or around April 21.

Hospital officials explained that the institution was already in bankruptcy and obtained a loan in February to keep operating while negotiating a sale, but said that all potential buyers were health care organizations that are too busy preparing their own facilities for the COVID-19 outbreak to consider with the purchase.

Things took a turn two days later, however, when WHWC announced that their multi-million dollar bid to purchase the hospital had been approved.

“This substantial investment furthers our mission of driving economic growth by creating a healthier community,” the statement by WHWC read. “We have exciting plans to preserve the hospital’s critical functions while expanding our existing programs and offering innovative new services. In this way, we hope not only to continue the hospital’s legacy as an economic engine for our community, but to grow it.”

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) applauded the acquisition and said he had been working with the administration at WMH since their announcement on Monday in an attempt to keep their doors open.

“I am pleased to see an agreement between Williamson Memorial Hospital and Williamson Health and Wellness to ensure Mingo County residents will not lose access to health care in the middle of an unprecedented pandemic,” Manchin said. “I look forward to seeing Williamson Memorial Hospital continue to provide West Virginians with care for years to come.”

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice initially addressed the hospital’s impending closure in his March 31 press conference and said that he hoped to stop it from happening.

Justice said that private negotiations going on between two parties, but he wanted everyone to know that he stood ready to help in any way possible that he can.

On Wednesday upon hearing the news of the hospital’s purchase by WHWC, Justice said that he it was a real blessing for Mingo County and Williamson and that he was thankful.

“We got really great news today from Mingo County, and I’m excited that Williamson Memorial Hospital is going to remain open for the community,” Justice said. “(Williamson Health & Wellness Center) plans to continue critical functions at the hospital and add new services.”

WHWC and CEO Dr. Donovan “Dino” Beckett said they look forward to sharing more details on the purchase in the days to come.

Williamson Health and Wellness Center’s point of contact is Community Liaison Darrin McCormick, who can be reached at 304-235-3400 ext. 420

Jarrid McCormick is a reporter for the Williamson Daily News. He can be reached by email at jmccormick@HDMediaLLC.com.