Belmont Community Hospital to close April 5

BELLAIRE – Belmont Community Hospital, which has served the area for 105 years, will be closed permanently as of April 5.

The 99-bed acute care hospital was acquired by Wheeling Hospital in 1996. Belmont Community Hospital employs 93 and Wheeling Hospital will offer positions to those employees within its system where job openings are available, officials said today.

The six area health centers that operate under BCH will remain open. Those health centers are located in St. Clairsville, Bellaire, Shadyside, Colerain, Bridgeport and Powhatan Point.

Utilization of BCH has continued to decline despite efforts to offer varying services at the facility, officials said. âThe decline has placed a financial strain on BCH that cannot be sustained in the long term,ã they said in a statement released today. âIn addition, population decline, patient needs and the emergence of specialized patient services also have contributed to the decline in demand for services at BCH.ã

The hospital opened as Bellaire City Hospital in 1914. The first expansion to the facility occurred in 1956 with a final building addition in 1972.

In early January, officials announced that Belmont Community Hospital had closed its behavioral medicine unit.

At that time, Gregg Warren, Wheeling Hospitalás vice president of marketing and public relations, said, âOver the past year, BCH has been gradually reducing some of its services throughout the hospital.

He added, âWheeling Hospital is offering the (behavioral medicine) unitás 15 employees positions within its various locations.ã

After becoming an affiliate of Wheeling Hospital, the hospital offering primary care and selected specialty services at its primary facility in Bellaire. The hospital has offered a full array of inpatient services including pediatrics, intensive care, orthopedic surgery, cardiac care, rehabilitation and mental health. The hospital has operated a 24-hour emergency department, and has three surgical suites.