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One Huntington hospital hopes to buy another

Herald-Dispatch photo by Sholten Singer Exterior shot of St. Mary's Medical Center's main entrance on Friday, Aug. 1, 2014, in Huntington.
Herald-Dispatch photo by Sholten Singer
Exterior shot of St. Mary’s Medical Center’s main entrance on Friday, Aug. 1, 2014, in Huntington.

HUNTINGTON, W.Va.  — Cabell Huntington Hospital officials said they are in negotiations with Pallottine Health Services to acquire St. Mary’s Medical Center.

Spokesmen for both hospitals provided more information about their negotiations on Tuesday, after a day earlier saying they were exploring an affiliation.

Cabell Huntington issued a release Tuesday saying discussions are ongoing about bringing the two largest employers in Huntington together “over an extended period of time.”

Herald-Dispatch photo by Lori Wolfe Cabell Huntington Hospital exterior
Herald-Dispatch photo by Lori Wolfe
Cabell Huntington Hospital exterior

The CEOs of both hospitals made remarks in the release, saying they are excited about a merger that will deliver more efficient health care in a more cost-effective way.

St. Mary’s CEO Mike Sellards revealed in the release that the hospital’s founders, the Pallottine Missionary Sisters, have decided to end their sponsorship of the facility because of the “changing climate in health care and fewer Sisters to oversee our health care ministries.”

St. Mary’s was opened as a Catholic hospital in 1924. Because of its ownership, the hospital does not perform certain procedures that clash with Catholic ideology such as vasectomies and hysterectomies.

In a memo issued to employees, hospital officials state they plan to keep St. Mary’s a Catholic medical center…

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