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Advantage Valley, WV is the Picture of Health

Expansion and education give the Advantage Valley region a strong health care advantage and convenient care.

By Patsy B. Weiler on October 31, 2022

Nurses practice on a dummy at the Bridge Valley CTC, which is located in the Advantage Valley region of West Virginia.
Chris Gosses

It is a time of hope, growth and innovation as healthcare facilities and educational programs in Advantage Valley expand to better serve the thriving community’s needs.

Rebranding for the Future

On West Virginia Day (June 20) in Madison, Boone Memorial Hospital announced its rebranding to become Boone Memorial Health, starting the next chapter in the organization’s mission to care for and invest in southern West Virginia.

The new name reflects a decade of significant growth as the organization has nearly tripled its workforce and added four clinic locations, a substance abuse and mental health treatment program, and eight specialty services. Also unveiled was the formation of the BMH Foundation for Community Health, focused on projects designed to improve community health.

“Our new name more closely reflects our expanded footprint, capabilities and technology, as well as our focus on community health and disease prevention,” says Virgil Underwood, Boone Memorial Health CEO.

Also adding to its name is Thomas Health, a new affiliate of WVU Medicine. Serving around 275,000 patients annually, the partnership enables Thomas Health to expand its capacity to care with more specialties and subspecialties.

Award-Winning Care

Charleston Area Medical Center is a nonprofit, 965-bed regional referral center with over 700 physicians with admitting privileges and a Level 1 trauma center. Part of its network includes the state’s first free-standing Women and Children’s Hospital, which houses highly skilled newborn and pediatric intensive care units.

As the facility grows to meet the need for high-quality care, so does its recognition. In 2022, for the fourth consecutive year, Forbes Magazine named CAMC as one of America’s Best-In-State Employers — a title earned through superiority in factors like salary, working conditions and diversity. U.S. News & World Report also listed CAMC as a Best Regional Hospital in the annual Best Hospital rankings.

Growing Nursing Programs

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s Nursing Workforce Expansion effort is providing millions of dollars in funding to train, retain and attract nurses to the Mountain State.

“We have been working closely with colleges, universities, schools of nursing and career technical education centers across West Virginia to expand nursing education programs. We’ve been able to support 27 nursing programs statewide with a $25.5 million investment,” says Cynthia Armstrong Persily, vice chancellor for health sciences at the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission.

Two Advantage Valley schools benefiting from the awards are BridgeValley Community & Technical College and St. Mary’s School of Nursing

The BridgeValley’s new $1.6 million, 7,073-square-foot Booker T. Washington nursing wing is set to be completed during fall 2022 on the South Charleston campus. It will simulate a hospital floor and assessment lab facilities, plus include general classrooms and office space. Eventually, the effort plans to increase enrollment from 180 students annually to 424.

St. Mary’s School of Nursing in Huntington is part of St. Mary’s Medical Center, one of the largest hospitals in the state. The school has been awarded more than $508,000 from the governor’s funding. Plans include renovating the current space, providing additional academic support rooms and upgrading equipment and classrooms. The investment is expected to support up to 20 new nursing students.

Many Health Care Choices

St. Mary’s Medical Center is part of Mountain Health Network, a West Virginia-based not-for-profit health delivery system comprising of Cabell Huntington Hospital — a teaching hospital for Marshall University; Hoops Family Children’s Hospital; HIMG, an outpatient facility of St. Mary’s; and a management agreement with Pleasant Valley Hospital. They are committed to improving the health and well-being of over 1 million children and adults in 23 West Virginia, southern Ohio and eastern Kentucky counties.

Huntington is also home to the Hershel “Woody” Williams VA Medical Center, a fully accredited 80-bed acute medical and surgical care facility and the Prestera Center, providing high-quality mental health and addiction services.

If you’d like to learn more about the Advantage Valley region, check out the latest edition of Livability: Advantage Valley, West Virginia

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