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Cabell, St. Mary’s in talks about possible merger

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — A spokesman for Cabell Huntington Hospital has confirmed that officials from Cabell and St. Mary’s Medical Center are in talks about a possible merger.

“We can confirm that Cabell Huntington Hospital and St. Mary’s Medical Center have had, and are continuing, discussions toward an affiliation,” Charles Shumaker, Cabell hospital spokesman, said.

For decades the two hospitals have competed for patient market in the Huntington area with both having or starting to have a presence in Lawrence County. Two years ago St Mary’s, a 393-bed hospital with more than 2,600 employees, built an emergency room facility off State Route 141 by the Ohio University Southern campus. Building the ER was a partnership between St. Mary’s and the Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization.

The executive director of the CAO sees the possible merger as a plus for the county.

“We will have to see exactly what the specifics are,” D.R. Gossett, executive director of the CAO, said. “I have talked with them about this a little bit. My take is it would be very positive as far as the resources we could get to our patients.”

After the ER facility opened, Fruth Pharmacy built its second store in the county; the first is located in the village of Proctorville. The long-term plan is to create a walkway area to link the campus with the ER.

In June Cabell opened family medical offices in Rome Township at the under-construction upscale Wyngate at RiversEdge senior living facility, across from the Lawrence County Fairgrounds. The medical offices will serve the Wyngate residents, but are also taking patients from the Proctorville community.

Shumaker said more details about the talks would be forthcoming. Cabell is a 303-bed facility with more than 2,500 employees.