West Virginia

Department of Health, Department of Health Facilities, and Department of Human Services

Department of Health
Department of Health Facilities
Department of Human Services

Welch Community Hospital History

Welch Community Hospital, the only State-funded acute care facility in West Virginia, is the only hospital in McDowell County. The hospital originated as a result of 1899 legislation that required the building of State hospitals for people engaged in dangerous occupations, particularly coal mining. Miners Hospital No. One opened in Welch on January 28, 1902.  Miners Hospitals also were built at Fairmont, West Virginia and McKendree, West Virginia. Dr. Henry Hatfield, a future governor, was a coal camp physician who helped secure funding for the Miners Hospitals and served on the Board of Directors of the Welch facility. A nursing school was established in 1914 at the Welch location and operated until 1944.

From its start as Miners Hospital No. One, the name changed to Welch Hospital No. One in 1912, to Welch Emergency Hospital by 1931, and to Welch Community Hospital in 2000. Today, the facility employs about 300 people.         
The hospital is located on three acres within the town of Welch. The land was donated to the State in 1899 by J. J. Sperry specifically for the purpose of building a hospital. A $12 million renovation was completed in 1984. Medical services include surgery, obstetrics, intensive care, and an Emergency Department.  
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