PRINCETON, WV (WOAY) – Due to the unprecedented negative impact resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, Princeton Community Hospital’s Board of Directors directed the closure of the OB/GYN and Surgical Services Departments at Bluefield Regional Medical Center effective April 30, 2020.
Princeton Community Hospital will make every effort to accommodate the needs of the physicians and patients impacted by this decision.
PCH CEO Jeffrey E. Lilley said, “The volatile landscape in healthcare has never been more negatively impacted than the destruction seen from COVID-19. Efforts to mitigate long-term impacts on the overall healthcare provided in our region require immediate steps to ensure the integrity of our system.”
The City of Bluefield issued the following statement: “The City of Bluefield was informed today that Princeton Community Hospital will begin moving major services from Bluefield Regional Medical Center to Princeton for cost saving measures. While this is sad news, it was not unexpected, especially in light of the challenges facing the healthcare industry, including the cessation of all elective surgeries for the foreseeable future as part of the mandatory response to COVID-19. It is important, especially now, that we focus on healthcare from a regional perspective, and we are fortunate that Princeton Community Hospital remains open and strong, and able to care for those who may fall ill.
From an economic perspective, the City had already made significant adjustments to its budget following the acquisition of BRMC by PCH. This acquisition changed the status of BRMC from for-profit to non-profit, which had a direct and significant impact on the City’s business and occupation tax receipts. The City had already accounted for this shift and made the appropriate budget adjustments, so the shift of major services to Princeton will not have an immediate, direct fiscal impact on the City.
While the facility’s future is uncertain, the City has communicated to PCH leadership that maintaining emergency room capabilities are a critical element for our citizens and we are deeply concerned if that is not preserved. The City has offered and stands ready to partner with Princeton Community Hospital and authorities at the State and National levels to find another use for the structure. When COVID-19 is behind us, we will start seeing the effects and benefits of the federal economic stimulus adopted in response to the pandemic, and we will try to leverage those resources to forge a path forward for the facility.’