Stonewall Jackson Hospital in Weston is the third hospital along the I-79 corridor seeking to expand facilities. The hospital has filed an application for a $40 million, 70 bed expansion near the I-79 intersection.

Minnie Hamilton Health Care Center, with facilities in Grantsville and Glenville, maintains a working relationship with Stonewall Jackson, according to CEO Barb Lay. "Stonewall Jackson has been helpful to Calhoun County since our hospital first closed," she said, providing technical assistance and numerous other services.

Stonewall Jackson is up against some heavy-hitters in seeking approval for expansion. United Hospital Center in Clarksburg is seeking approval for a new $265 million facility proposed for Bridgeport. Fairmont General Hospital, ten minutes away, is seeking to build an $85 million facility.

At the same time, WVU Hospitals in Morgantown wants a 72-bed expansion, projected to cost $75 million.

Sonia Chambers, chairwoman for the State Health Care Authority, said the agency will discuss the first three applications, but Stonewall Jackson's application will not be discussed until February.

Chambers said three hospitals along the 40-mile stretch would not work.

Stonewall Jackson, which serves a rural population stretching into Gilmer County, may be at a disadvantage in the hospital run-off. "They focus on rural care, which is important to rural people who have to drive great distances to more urban hospitals," said Lay.

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