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West Virginia hospital merger forms new academic health system

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The Mountain Health Network has completed its merger with Marshall University and Marshall Health. The combined system is now known as the Marshall Health Network.

A group of West Virginia hospitals can now utter the famed rallying cry, “We are Marshall.”

Marshall University and Mountain Health Network have merged to form a new academic health system: Marshall Health Network. Pictured in an April photo, from left, Marshall University President Brad D. Smith, Marshall Health CEO Beth L. Hammers and Marshall Health Network CEO Dr. Kevin Yingling. (Photo: Marshall Health Network)

Marshall University and Mountain Health Network have merged to form a new academic health system: Marshall Health Network. Pictured in an April photo, from left, Marshall University President Brad D. Smith, Marshall Health CEO Beth L. Hammers and Marshall Health Network CEO Dr. Kevin Yingling. (Photo: Marshall Health Network)

Less than six months after announcing a letter of intent to merge, Marshall University, Marshall Health and the Mountain Health Network have officially come together.

The institutions announced the formation of the new academic health system Thursday. The newly formed system is now known as the Marshall Health Network. The network also includes Marshall University’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.

The network includes the four hospitals that had been under the Mountain Health Network umbrella: Cabell Huntington Hospital, a 303-bed teaching hospital; St. Mary’s Medical Center, a 393-bed teaching hospital; Hoops Family Children’s Hospital, a 72-bed pediatric hospital and Rivers Health, a 101-bed hospital. The network also includes a host of ambulatory facilities and medical offices.

The network serves 23 counties in West Virginia, southern Ohio, and eastern Kentucky.

The Marshall institutions and Mountain Health Network disclosed in April that they had signed an agreement to form an academic health system.

Kevin W. Yingling, CEO of Marshall Health Network, said that the new system will improve access to healthcare, including primary care, specialty services, and rural health.

“Uniting as a system strengthens our shared commitment to expand research, develop clinical centers of excellence, and offer new medical specialties,” Yingling said in a statement.

Beth L. Hammers, CEO of Marshall Health, said the partnership will strengthen Marshall’s academic, clinical and research missions.

In a statement Thursday, she said, “Under the Marshall Health Network banner, we look forward to optimizing resources and initiating a holistic shift in how we deliver healthcare, how we train future healthcare professionals and how we engage with our communities.”

When the letter of intent was announced in April, she noted that the health network and Marshall had collaborated for nearly 50 years, but she said the partnership would lead to a true academic health system.

Marshall University President Brad D. Smith called it a “historic milestone.”

“This transformative initiative represents our unwavering commitment to advancing healthcare, education, and research for the betterment of our community and beyond,” Smith said in a statement. “Together, we will build a brighter, healthier future, where innovation and compassion converge to redefine healthcare excellence.”


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