Employees at Jackie Withrow Hospital in Beckley as well as the public held signs late Monday morning hoping their voices would be heard. One employee that was holding a sign is Larshella Creasy who told us, “Their human, their people just like us and like I said, a lot of these residents here don’t have family. We are the only family that they have.”
Those residents would be the people who call Jackie Withrow their home. But, unfortunately that could all change. Resident Sherri Casto told us, “Well this is my home, I love it here and I don’t want it shut down, they do a lot for you.” While resident Beth Bryod added, ” “This is my home and I don’t want to move out of here, I’d be going eighteen years.”
On Friday the West Virginia House of Delegates passed Bill 113 with a fifty-three to thirty-four vote, while the Senate also passed it with a fifteen to eleven vote. Now it awaits on Governor Jim Justice’s desk and employee Nola Lilly wants the Governor to know this, “I’d tell him straight up please come in before you put that pen down and sign that paper, come in and observe and just see what we do.”
Although employees are concerned that they will be out of work and residents will have no where to go, the CEO says there is a plan for them. CEO of Jackie Withrow Hospital, Angela Booker added,”The plan is to sell the facility to a privately owned company and then for all the residents currently here would be moved to that facility if one is built, but until that time occurs we will continue to take care of the patients here in the facility. They will remain here as their home and their jobs will continue to stay in the community.
Once the building is sold, Booker says a new building will be built on the premises or within a five mile radius and those existing employees will be hired by the new facility if and when its built. Or they will be put on a preferred list for when other jobs open up.