CHARLESTON- This week, the Marion County Delegation met with DHHR Secretary Bill Crouch to discuss the future of the John Manchin Sr. Health Care Center. The delegation addressed their concerns about what would happen in the community if the John Manchin Sr. Health Care Center would close. “Many people in the community rely on the center’s services,” said Senator Mike Caputo (D-Marion).
The John Manchin Sr. Health Care Center is an intermediate nursing facility that also offers impatient and outpatient care. The mission is to provide quality affordable care to the people of Marion County. Many of the health center’s patients are low income and rely on the services the center provides. The DHHR currently manages the health center and is considering closing long-term care facilities. “If the John Manchin Center closes, some of the most vulnerable citizens may fall through the cracks or move hours away from home to find a bed,” said Delegate Joey Garcia (D-Marion).
According to DHHR Secretary Bill Crouch, many of the state’s long-term care facilities are outdated and short-staffed. The DHHR is currently facing a shortage of nursing staff and must rely on nurses through a contract basis. Although the Manchin Center has 40 beds, it is not currently accepting any new patients even though it has only 27 filled beds. In addition to long-term care, the center provides over 225 meals a day to senior citizens of Marion County, offers telehealth services, and more. “The Manchin Center is an invaluable part of the Marion County community,” said Senator Bob Beach (D-Monongalia).
“Many nurses and staff prefer to work in long-term care facilities instead of hospitals,” said Delegate Phil Mallow (R-Marion). “Closing the facility takes away a viable career path for our area.”
“The Manchin Center supplements our work at the Marion County Senior Center, and several of our clients want to go to John Manchin when the time comes that they cannot be provided care at home,” said Debbie Harvey, Manchin County Senior Center Director. “The closing would impact the quality of life in the community, and the loss of jobs would be detrimental to the community,” said Marion County Chamber of Commerce President Tina Shaw.
The delegation urged Crouch to consider all the factors at play in his decisions. Discussions will continue.
“I feel that the meeting was very productive. The Secretary indicated that he is open to meeting with community leaders and legislators to work on a solution after session during the interims,” said Delegate Guy Ward (R-Marion).
“The Marion County Delegation is committed to keeping the John Manchin Sr. Health Care Center open, viable, and operational,” said Senator Mike Caputo (D-Marion).