BLUEFIELD, WV (WOAY) – Bluefield State College is set to acquire the Bluefield Regional Medical Center and use it for teaching purposes.
The medical center was shut down earlier this year and ownership was transferred to Princeton Community Hospital. Currently the hospital only provides emergency care and some related medical services.
According to Bluefield State College Provost and Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs Dr. Ted Lewis, the college wants to turn it into a teaching environment for their medical students.
“We did not want to see such an important building in our community sit vacant. This gives us an opportunity to be able to move our nursing program and all of our allied health programs to a state-of-the-art facility,” Dr. Lewis said.
Some programs that can be expected to have teaching programs at the hospital include nursing, radiology, sonography and nuclear medicine. It gives a chance to have hands-on experience outside of a standard classroom setting.
“I think the students are going to be very excited to be able to train in such a wonderful facility as that. So this allows us also to look at new programs that we can deliver, to be able to help serve the healthcare needs of our community.”
There’s no set timeline on when the transfer of ownership will happen or when work can begin on moving allied health programs to the hospital. Much work still needs to be done to prepare the hospital for teaching.
“There’s several things that we still need to do in terms of building out that facility. It’s a great hospital, a wonderful facility, but it wasn’t built to be a teaching hospital. So we’re going to have to tear out some walls to create large classrooms for our students.”
Bluefield State College is acquiring ownership to expand its allied health programs over to the facility. Princeton Community Hospital will likely continue to maintain the emergency division and other medical services provided at Bluefield Regional Medical Center.