CHARLESTON, WV – Gov. Jim Justice announced today that he plans to establish a Rural Medicine Task Force to address the healthcare dilemma in West Virginia.
“We must stop our rural hospitals from closing,” Gov. Justice said. “I intend to bring together all the major hospitals and all the leading players to work on this issue. They have the expertise necessary to develop solutions for solving the delivery of rural medicine and care in West Virginia.
“Maintaining hospital and emergency care services for our citizens is an extremely high priority of mine and that’s why I am forming this task force to find ways to stop the closure of our community hospitals.
“Hospital closures outside our borders are affecting West Virginians as well. Just last week, we heard that Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital in the Ashland, Kentucky area will close later this year, with possibly 1,000 jobs on the line.”
Gov. Justice has meetings scheduled with officials from his administration and with interested private parties in the coming days. An executive order will follow next week, outlining the details and duties of the new task force.