WVU Medicine/Jackson General Hospital hosted a Welcome to the Family Celebration Event on Tuesday morning, Nov. 12.

More than 200 guests attended the history making event that celebrated the joining of Jackson General Hospital to the WVU Medicine system.

Stephanie McCoy, CEO of JGH, welcomed and thanked everyone for attending prior to turning the microphone over to Pastor Chris Skeens of Freewill Baptist Church, who led the invocation.

Following the singing of the National Anthem by Missy Harbin, McCoy made her opening remarks stating the Mission and Vision statements of JGH.

“Our mission is saving lives, changing lives with quality healthcare, one family at a time,” McCoy said. “Our vision is that through excellence, Jackson General Hospital will become our community’s provider of choice, and I feel our speakers today all share in these statements.”

Delegate Steve Westfall, a JGH Board member addressed the crowd and noted that it was on March 4, 1960 that the first meeting was held to start the planning for JGH.

“Thanks to all the people who had a vision and saw a need, people like the late Judy Hunter, in 1964 Jackson General Hospital was opened and 55 years later, it’s still here,” Westfall said.

Westfall said he feels the joining of JGH with WVU Medicine will ensure another 55 years of service to Jackson County and surrounding communities.

JGH Board President Rob Fisher spoke about expectations and the legacy of caring associated with the hospital.

“At Jackson General, we have expected the best and we have achieved the best for the last 55 years, because that is what Jackson General is all about,” Fisher said.

Fisher feels from the short wait times for emergency room services, to the caring staff, good food, and clean facilities, the quality of care is great at JGH and it shows there is pride in the community.

He quoted motivational speaker Charles Swindoll as saying, “People who inspire others are those who see invisible bridges at the end of dead-end streets.”

“In 1960 they saw bridges, they didn’t see dead-end streets,” Fisher said. “We’re here today because we see bridges and not dead-end streets.”

Following Fisher was guest speaker Albert Wright, President and CEO of WVU Health System. Wright said it was a very gratifying day for him to be in Jackson County, noting he had seen signs in Ripley with the slogan, “Proud of our past, excited about our future,” which he felt was a very relevant saying for the day.

He discussed some of the innovations that WVU Medicine has been doing in regards to promoting patient safety and lowering the cost of healthcare.

“We are building this statewide network of integrated hospitals, because we are going to do something different, and we are going to improve the health of the population.” Wright said. “I’m thrilled to add Jackson General Hospital to our family.”

WVU’s President Gordon Gee was the final speaker for the morning.

Gee said he loved Jackson County and is excited to have JGH join the team.

“We are not in the hospital business, we are in the wellness business.” Gee said.

He feels West Virginia has great healthcare, great universities, and great people, and his goal is to get more people to come to West Virginia.

“Without great healthcare and a healthy population, we can’t have good education and we can’t have prosperity,” Gee said. “All the people who are here today are the foot soldiers of West Virginia, and this hospital is exactly that.”

Ripley Mayor Carolyn Rader along with Ravenswood Mayor Josh Miller presented Gee with keys to both cities and welcomed him and WVU Medicine into Jackson County.

After the key presentation, the crowd was invited to witness the raising of the WVU Medicine flag in front of the hospital, all while singing “Country Roads” led by Missy Harbin.

A reception then followed in the Learning Center.