WEST COLUMBIA, W.Va. — After proposed legislation threatened to shut its doors, it was announced this week that Lakin Hospital would remain open.
A brief video appeared on the Facebook page of State Senator Amy Grady of the Fourth Senatorial District, where Grady spoke alongside Delegates Jonathan Pinson (R-13th) and Johnnie Wamsley (R-14th). Grady said she was speaking on behalf of herself and senior Senator Eric Tarr, also of the Fourth Senatorial District.
“We have a really important announcement for Mason County regarding Lakin Hospital,” Grady said. “The hospital is going to stay open.”
“This means Mason County jobs and the residents of Lakin stay in Mason County,” Wamsley said.
Pinson added: “This is a win for Mason County. As we know, the hospital is important to the economy there, to our county, to our community. We have been contacted about this single issue, House Bill 2626, we’ve received more calls about this than anything else. Your voices have been heard, we’re glad to be your voice in Charleston and we’re thankful the hospital is going to stay open.”
According to the West Virginia Legislature’s website, HB 2626 was last referred to the House Finance Committee on Feb. 19 where it appears to have stalled, with no further documentation on the proposed legislation noted.
Locally, many voiced opposition to the legislation, including Mason County Commissioners Sam Nibert, Tracy Doolitlte and Rick Handley. Commissioners spoke with employees of Lakin and also sent letters voicing their concerns to local legislative officials, as well as those on the House Health Committee who drafted the bill.
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Beth Sergent is editor of Ohio Valley Publishing.