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Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital relocation moves closer after West Virginia Intermediate Court ruling

By Matt Harvey, The Exponent Telegram

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Mon Health Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital officials on Thursday moved a step closer to building a new hospital at the junction of Interstate 79 and U.S. 48/33.

A divided Intermediate Court of Appeals voted 2-1 to affirm a Health Care Authority decision last July 12 that decided the new Stonewall Jackson hospital wouldn’t have to go through the standard certificate of need process.

Chief Judge Thomas Scarr and Judge Dan Greear sided with Mon Health Stonewall Jackson’s position, while Judge Charles Lorensen wrote a dissenting opinion.

WVU Medicine St. Joseph’s Hospital had taken the matter to the appeals court. Officials with St. Joseph’s and WVU Medicine now will have the option of appealing to the state Supreme Court.

Scarr authored the majority opinion, writing that “the Health Care Authority’s decision is a reasonable and permissible interpretation of a statute that is ambiguous when applied to the proposed relocation project at issue here.”

Lorensen wrote that the Intermediate Court only would have had jurisdiction if it had been deciding whether a certificate of need decision had been handled correctly. Instead, the Intermediate Court was asked to decide whether the Health Care Authority was right in saying Stonewall Jackson Memorial’s move didn’t need to go through the certificate of need process.

At issue was whether the board of Mon Health Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital can go ahead with its plans to relocate from the western side of Weston — well away from four-lane access — to the new site literally just yards away from a Interstate 79 exit/entrance.

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