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Hospital to be blessed ahead of reopening

MARTINS FERRY — In preparation for its future reopening, East Ohio Regional Hospital will be blessed Wednesday.

Michael Garrison, hospital spokesman, said the non-denominational blessing will take place with local clergy, hospital officials and media in attendance. It will not be open to the public because the hospital still is getting ready to reopen.

Chief Operating Officer Bernie Albertini said Dr. Michael Tatro, an emergency medical specialist, and the Rev. William Webster, pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church, will help lead the event.

“We are a community hospital at our core, so it was fitting to call upon clergy from our local community to help us ready EORH for serving the public,” Albertini said in a press release.

The blessing will take place in the hospital’s emergency room at about noon.

Hospital officials previously said they plan to get the hospital open sometime this month.

Last May, it was announced that Dayton-based psychiatrist Dr. John Johnson had purchased the facility with the intention to reopen it as a hospital. Johnson owns other medical facilities in the Dayton, Ohio, area.

The news came as a relief to many in the community, as most people who had worked there were forced to find jobs elsewhere when it closed in 2019. Still others were concerned about having one less facility to choose from for their medical care. In addition to EORH, the former owner, Alecto Healthcare Services of Irvine, California, also shut down its sister facility, Ohio Valley Medical Center in Wheeling, in 2019.

And a few months prior, Belmont Community Hospital in Bellaire was closed by its owner, Wheeling Hospital. While Wheeling Hospital began offering some of Belmont Community’s former services at its clinic nearby, the emergency room was closed for good.

OVMC has since been purchased by the city of Wheeling, and Bluefield State College recently announced that it may open an Engineering and Manufacturing Center in a portion of the former hospital campus.

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