Valley Health System’s War Memorial Hospital meeting needs for rural health care in Morgan County

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. (DC News Now) — West Virginia’s growing eastern panhandle is keeping pace with the demand for rural health care.

It is a challenge in rural communities like those around Berkeley Springs, but Valley Health System has expanded its footprint to help meet that demand, attracting medical professionals to War Memorial Hospital.

The hospital says it is able to meet the unique needs of the rural community.

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“We provide the care locally at an affordable cost so patients do not have to travel,” says hospital administrator, Heather Sigel. “It is a strong health system and we are able to provide care here locally and we are also able to refer within the system if there are services that we cannot provide.”

Samantha Smith, chief nursing officer and director of patient care for the hospital, said rural communities are special but underrepresented.

“A lot of our community is elderly and those are people in our community who have worked hard, physically taxing jobs,” she said.

The Chartis Center for Rural Health, which rates hospital systems for meeting benchmarks in the delivery of health care, has rated the Morgan County hospital and its affiliates among the nation’s best in meeting patient needs.

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