Update on tornado damage to ARH operations in West Liberty

3/3/2012

The Morgan County ARH Hospital, clinic, home care store, home health agency and other ARH services sustained significant damage during the tornado that devastated the West Liberty community around 6 p.m. Friday evening.

All second floor windows of the hospital were blown out, the roof was damaged, exterior doors were torn off their hinges, and cars were demolished in the parking lot when the tornado struck.

Fortunately, there were no patients or staff injured during the storm. All inpatients were transferred to other medical facilities in neighboring counties Friday evening.

Currently, the hospital emergency room is open to treat the injured, but will not be admitting patients. Patients requiring hospitalization will be transferred to other neighboring facilities.

Contractors are on the way to West Liberty to assess the damage to the hospital roof and exterior. Emergency Management is working with ARH to keep the emergency department open on emergency power, and structural engineers from the State have assessed the building. The engineers have indicated that while Morgan County ARH Hospital is damaged, the building structure is sound.

The ARH Home Health Agency, Home Store and central payment posting unit facilities in Morgan County were significantly damaged. ARH is mobilizing Home Services operations from other ARH communities to assist with the needs of the patients and provide needed equipment.

“The people of West Liberty and Morgan County are devastated by the events of March 2, and ARH will provide any and all support we can in the community. We will strive—even in these unimaginable conditions—to ensure our patients, staff and their families are safe and receiving the best healthcare possible,” said ARH President and CEO Jerry W. Haynes. “ARH remains committed to West Liberty and Morgan County, both in the short-term and long-term. We are evaluating several approaches to allow us to continue providing healthcare services, and we will be planning for the future as soon as we address the most pressing immediate and emergency needs.”

The ARH Foundation for Healthier Communities is in the process of establishing a fund to benefit employees of Morgan County ARH affected by the tornado. Details on how to make a donation will be announced in the coming days.

About Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH)
Appalachian Regional Healthcare is a not-for-profit health system serving 350,000 residents across Eastern Kentucky and Southern West Virginia. Operating 10 hospitals, multi-specialty physician practices, home health agencies, HomeCare Stores and retail pharmacies, ARH is the largest provider of care and single largest employer in southeastern Kentucky and the third largest private employer in southern West Virginia.

The ARH system employs nearly 5,000 people and has a network of more than 600 active and courtesy medical staff members representing various specialties. Firmly committed to its mission of improving the health and promoting the well-being of all people in Eastern Kentucky and Southern West Virginia, in the past 12 months alone, ARH provided nearly $133 million in uncompensated care for the uninsured and underinsured.

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