Press Release: Cabell Huntington Hospital Workers Outraged by New Plan to Acquire Local Medical Group

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, May 20, 2020
For more information, contact: Joyce Gibson, jgibson@seiu1199.org, 304-654-0824.

Health care workers demand Mountain Health Network and Cabell Huntington Hospital invest in patient care and frontline workers.  

Huntington, West Virginia – Today, hospital workers with Cabell Huntington Hospital expressed disbelief after local hospital officials announced plans to acquire the Huntington Internal Medicine Group (HIMG), a health care provider. In 2018, Cabell Huntington Hospital acquired St. Mary’s Medical Center in a $165M transaction.

The acquisition of St. Mary’s Medical Center raised concern about the potential for anti-competitive business practices and robust dialogue about whether such a merger would serve the interests of health care consumers in the local area. Then, following the merger, both hospitals cut health care benefits for non-union workers. While health care workers are serving heroically, hundreds of health care professionals have also been furloughed or had a reduction in work hours due to the COVID19 pandemic.

In a Certificate of Need (CON) letter of intent that was filed with the West Virginia Health Care Authority on May 19th, it was announced that St. Mary’s Medical Center plans for over $10M in capital expenditures related to the acquisition of a local ambulatory care provider.

“The position of Cabell Huntington Hospital has been that they must cut benefits due to a lack of resources. However, just this week, they have announced $10M that they are planning as far as capital expenditures that relate to a voluntary and potentially costly acquisition,” said Joyce Gibson, Regional Director for SEIU District 1199 WV/KY/OH. “Healthcare workers with the system have been concerned about quality care, health benefits, and now furloughs. If resources are short, why are hospital administrators planning $10M in capital improvements for a medical group that is not yet a part of the Cabell Huntington Hospital System,” continued Gibson.

Registered Nurses and technical staff with Cabell Huntington Hospital recently organized with SEIU District 1199 and are currently negotiating their first contract. “The workers of Cabell Huntington Hospital stand united for good jobs and quality care for the patients they serve. These workers are heroes and the care that they provide is critical. Staffing, quality care, and good union jobs for the community, should be of the highest priority and nothing less,” concluded Gibson. 

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