United Hospital Center in Bridgeport has announced plans to become the controlling organization for St. Joseph’s Hospital in Buckhannon.
UHC CEO Bruce Carter said on Thursday that the hospital has signed a letter of intent and hopes to reach a definitive agreement by November.
The Pallottine Missionary Sisters, a Catholic order, approached UHC about the transfer, according to Carter.
“Their reasoning was there are less sisters in the order and they’re aging,” he said. “They feel as though they’re not going to be able to properly manage these missions in the long-term.”
The hospital will no longer be affiliated with the Catholic Church but its day-to-day operations will be unchanged “to honor the legacy of the sisters and everything they’ve done in Buckhannon over more than 75 years,” according to Carter.
The Pallottine sisters recently made a similar announcement with regard to St. Mary’s Medical Center in Huntington, which is exploring a merger with Cabell Huntington Hospital.