Talks ongoing about how to use former BRMC building

BLUEFIELD. WV (WOAY) – Officials are discussing the best way to use the former Bluefield Regional Medical Center Building going forward.

Princeton Community Hospital bought BRMC last year, and BRMC in-patient and ancillary services concluded on July 30. Bluefield leaders are working with hospital representatives to make the best use of the old building.

“Between CHS and Princeton Community Hospital, over $90 million has been invested in that hospital the last nine years,” said Bluefield City Manager Dane Rideout. “We’re talking infrastructure improvements, chillers, upgrades to operating rooms and emergency rooms. That type of stuff. So leaving a campus like that vacant is really not an option.”

The city is partnering with PCH in order to move into the next phase of the BRMC’s history.

“A lot of people want that building to go back to being a hospital,” Rideout said. “We’re not going to see that. Rural healthcare has changed. It’s very much a hub and spokes system now. Smaller hospitals that get the patient stabilized and then they transport them to the mothership.”

There were already a lot of Bluefield citizens going to PCH even before BRMC was bought. This makes Bluefield officials confident that they will have a fair say going forward.

“We’re going to stay very involved. We want to have a say on their board,” Rideout said. “If that’s not the case, then obviously we’re going to pursue other avenues that we possibly can to ensure that our citizens are protected from a health perspective.”

Bluefield officials and PCH are considering what is in the best interest of the hospital and Bluefield citizens.