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CAMC to make infrastructure repairs

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Charleston Area Medical Center will make upgrades and replacements to several of its roofs, boilers, air-conditioning units and other infrastructure next year.

The hospital system's board on Wednesday voted to put an additional $5 million in the hospital's infrastructure budget for next year.

The $5 million, plus an additional $3 million that was already budgeted for that purpose, will be used for upgrades at CAMC facilities.

"It's just items that have reached their end of life, much like you might need to replace your air-conditioning system at your house or replace the roof at your house," Dave Ramsey, CAMC's president and CEO, said after the meeting. "It's the same thing. [It's] time to make those repairs to preserve the infrastructure here."

The repairs will be added to the 2014 fiscal year budget, which begins in January, Ramsey said.

Also at the board meeting, the hospital board voted that CAMC should merge with CAMC Teays Valley and become one corporation. The Putnam County facility has been under the CAMC umbrella since 2006 when CAMC bought the former Putnam General Hospital.

"It's almost a technicality when you come right down to it," Ramsey said of the merger.

He said the merger is "frankly for simplification."

Merging would allow CAMC to keep one set of financial information, have one information system and one board for the four hospitals, he said.

One member from Teays Valley's board will join CAMC's board, Ramsey said. The CAMC board will have decision-making power for the hospital but the Teays Valley board may continue to serve in an advisory role, Ramsey said.

"We want to hear from the community," Ramsey said. "We want to make sure we're meeting the community's needs and that we have the voice of the customers."

Ramsey said the hospital hopes to complete the merger by March 1.

Reach Lori Kersey at lori.kersey@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1240.


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