Bankruptcy court approves buyer for West Virginia hospital

WILLIAMSON, W.Va. (AP) — A federal bankruptcy court has approved a health care facility’s $3.7 million bid for most assets of the only hospital in a southern West Virginia county that planned to close this month.

Williamson Health and Wellness said in a statement Wednesday that the court accepted its proposal for Williamson Memorial Hospital in Mingo County.

“This substantial investment furthers our mission of driving economic growth by creating a healthier community,” the statement said. The new ownership team has “exciting plans to preserve the hospital’s critical functions while expanding our existing programs and offering innovative new services.”

Williamson Health and Wellness offers services including adult and pediatric medicine, behavioral health, dental, podiatry and telemedicine.

Gov. Jim Justice, who publicly pleaded for the hospital to remain open, called it “great news.”

“It’s a real blessing for Williamson and Mingo County and I am extremely appreciative and thankful,” Justice said in a separate statement.

The hospital said this week it would close sometime this month because all potential buyers were health care providers whose attention was turned toward preparing their own facilities for patients of the new coronavirus. The hospital had gone into bankruptcy proceedings in February and obtained a loan to fund operations until the business could be sold. The idea was to stay open until a sale closed in early April.

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