PMH Renovations Will Enhance Pocahontas Health Care for Years to Come
On the rainy morning of July 26th, Pocahontas Memorial Hospital celebrated the beginning of their renovation project with a groundbreaking ceremony. This symbolic groundbreaking was the result of years of planning, loan applications, feasibility studies, and architect and engineering work. It marked the actual beginning of construction of this first part of their expansion.
This first phase costs 6.6-million-dollars and includes building new modernized Rural Health Clinic and additional clinic examination rooms, a rehabilitation addition; and expansion to the cardio-pulmonary/respiratory and radiology department, which will now add mammography, nuclear medicine, and stress testing. 5.7 million dollars of this comes from a U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development loan. The remaining cost of this first phase expansion was funded by a very generous donation, as the day’s Master of Ceremony, Jim Strawn explained.
“We would not be here today without a generous gift from a very extraordinarily loving and giving couple,” said Strawn. “They have supported this hospital since 2016, and of course, I am talking about the Greenlee’s. Peg, unfortunately and sadly, passed away in February of this year, at the age of 96. Joe is with us today, 97 years young, going strong.”
Other speakers included representatives of Governor Jim Justice and Senators Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito. U.S. Representative Carol Miller, who attended in person also spoke. One of the things she talked about were the qualities that make a good health-care facility.
“You need three things to make a good health-care facility,” said Miller. “One is innovation, which you are bringing fast, and have continues to work towards. The other is high quality, and I know you all deliver high quality for all your people, and of course, access. And after driving here from Huntington (crowd laughter,) I will say access is a little challenging, but you all have done it. I am just so proud to be able to share this with you all. God bless you all from the bottom of my heart.”
The Governor did send a recorded statement, and here is just a little bit of what he said.
“…A lot of great stuff is going on up there, and I want to say hello to everybody for sure, but all those especially at the Pocahontas Memorial Hospital,” said Governor justice. We have a really, really big-time presentation today and joe Greenlee is going to be there, I am sure, with you today, and Joe, I hate like crazy to hear about Peg, and for 72 years you guys were together, and is an incredible testimony to this greatness that’s going on in West Virginia in lots of different places. But, first and foremost, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart about this contribution you are making. And now we are going to have the Joe and Peg rural Health Clinic, and that is really important especially to especially all those great folks in Pocahontas County.”
Andrew Baer, the CEO of PMH pointed out that this is just the first step in what will be an 11-million-dollar renovation which will eventually bring enhancements to the hospital’s operating room, ICU, inpatient pharmacy, and emergency room. The additional money will be raised by the hospital’s ongoing “Building on our Past, Building for the Future” capital fund raising campaign.
Talking about PMH and its importance to the people of Pocahontas County, County Commission President Walt Helmick said “We are the most remote county in West Virginia. We don’t have a Walmart, but I don’t think we care, because we have each other.”