Talks ongoing in tentative sale of Sistersville hospital

SISTERSVILLE — Negotiators are still talking two years after the announcement that Wheeling Hospital was buying Sistersville General Hospital.

The proposed sale for $5.5 million included Wheeling Hospital assuming Sistersville General’s debts and liabilities while increasing medical services, among other provisions. Sistersville General is owned by the city of Sistersville.

Sistersville City Council in February 2017 approved a proposal to sell Sistersville General to Wheeling Hospital. Sistersville General was “excited for the opportunity to work with Wheeling Hospital,” Brandon Chadock, an interim chief executive officer for Sistersville General, told council.

Both sides remain in negotiations, according to Sistersville City Attorney Krista Fleegle. Fleegle said an asset purchase plan and other terms are being discussed.

Sistersville General and Wheeling Hospital would like to reach a conclusion, but it is a complex transaction that takes time, Fleegle said.

Gregg Warren, marketing and public relations consultant with Wheeling Hospital, said there is no agreement between the two hospitals. Warren said Wheeling Hospital has expressed interest in reaching an agreement and that it is continuing to investigate the possibility.

There is no time frame for conclusion of the process, Fleegle said.

In the meantime, Allison Adler, director of communications for the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, said Sistersville General’s Level IV trauma designation was revoked on Feb. 13 for noncompliance with the Level IV requirements, that are “based on the American College of Surgeons, Committee on Trauma standards and the West Virginia Facility Designation Criteria — Minimum Critical Elements Summary.”

A facility may not reapply until a year after revocation.

Fleegle said she was unaware of the loss of the designation and was unsure how an agreement with Wheeling Hospital would factor into that issue.