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RVHS closing affects many

Lawrence County’s economy took another hit Wednesday morning when River Valley Health System announced it will cease operations at both its Ironton and Portsmouth facilities later this month.

Thursday, January 18, 2001

Lawrence County’s economy took another hit Wednesday morning when River Valley Health System announced it will cease operations at both its Ironton and Portsmouth facilities later this month.

The result: a loss of 400 jobs.

Those losing their jobs will not be the only ones feeling the impact of the hospital’s closing. Ironton and Lawrence County residents will have to go elsewhere to seek medical treatment, traveling farther in emergency situations. In addition, the city will suffer by losing income tax dollars and other revenue from utilities.

Having dealt with 1,000 job casualties over a period of two years due to the closing of companies such as Cabletron, Intermet-Ironton Iron and Honeywell, the shutdown will affect the economical well-being of the county.

Economic development leaders, already working hard on projects in South Point, Ironton and Hanging Rock, will have more work as they attempt to absorb the loss of yet another major employer in the county.

Lawrence County cannot afford to lose its people due to lack of jobs. If the employment base stays as thin as it is, the county’s population is sure to suffer.

One can only hope a company will come forward and assume operation of the hospital. For now, though, we will just have to play the waiting game.