Gov. Jim Justice has directed Cabinet
Secretary Bill J. Crouch of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human
Resources (DHHR) to work with Thomas Health, the parent company of Saint
Francis Hospital, to accept their earlier offer to stand up as a COVID-19 surge
hospital. Initially, 15
beds will be prepared as this will be the first step to implement a surge
hospital and test if it is prepared to receive COVID-19 patients.
In April, Saint Francis
Hospital reconfigured two floors and added beds and equipment to serve up to 75
coronavirus patients. The COVID-19 surge hospital is designed to treat
coronavirus patients diagnosed at medical facilities across the state who are primarily
in need of active short-term care or rehabilitation services. Transfers will be
coordinated through DHHR and the Thomas Health Transfer Center.
“Thank goodness we have this facility and will be able to
test it before we might need to use it,” Gov. Justice said. “I want to thank
Thomas Health and all our partners who stepped up to pull this together. With
this facility at the ready, we will be better prepared to continue to respond
to this pandemic and keep our people safe.”
The Governor’s Office, DHHR, the West Virginia National Guard, the
Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Army Corp of Engineers assisted with
the operational plans needed to prepare the surge hospital.
“We continue to work through this pandemic
together. Thomas Heath and Saint Francis stand ready to care for the community
during this difficult time,” said Dan Lauffer, President and CEO of Thomas
Health. “It's part of our mission, it's part of being a faith-based
If and when St. Francis Hospital begins to
accept COVID-19 patients, there will not be visitors. iPads will be provided to
allow for scheduled televideo visits. Temperature checks will be performed on
all those entering the facility and all patients must wear a face mask. For the
most up to date information, please refer to Thomashealth.org.