Our
History
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For more than a century, Pocahontas Memorial Hospital has served the health and wellness needs of a five-county region, which includes Pocahontas, Greenbrier, Nicholas and Randolph counties in West Virginia, and Bath County, Virginia.  

The privately-owned hospital was first established in 1906 in downtown Marlinton. The hospital has always cared for the community’s health needs – regardless of the patient’s ability to pay. However, this generous philosophy of care and compassion created financial instability, nearly forcing its closure, which would have deprived the region of desperately needed health care. Recognizing what it stood to lose, the community rallied around the hospital and led a fundraising campaign in Spring 1926. In addition, the citizens petitioned the county court to designate the hospital as a county facility and name it Memorial Hospital in honor of the county men and women who served in World War I.

 

Nevertheless, the revitalized hospital’s success fell victim to a disaster: A furnace fire in the basement destroyed the wooden structure. While fortunately no one was harmed, countless equipment was lost. Once again, the community heroically rebuilt the hospital and replaced all the equipment. Memorial Hospital reopened on Jan. 16, 1932.  

The hospital continued to experience the ebbs and flows of business. Some years, the hospital suffered financial problems; other years, it thrived. A boost to the hospital’s bottom line was increased business from men who worked in the Civilian Conservation Corps work camps in the county. The CCC camps were responsible for building many of county’s recreational facilities, including Watoga State Park. When the camps closed a decade later, the hospital took another financial hit.  

By January 1946, the hospital, once again, was in trouble. The county court threatened to close the facility, but the community saved the hospital a third time. The residents approved a special tax levy to support the hospital in 1946 and 1948. The funds paid for equipment, maintenance, operating costs, and hospital improvements. 

The 1950s was a boom era. Business was so good the hospital had to expand. Dedicated community members supported this effort through a building fund (capital campaign), and the expansion opened in 1957. It included a new x-ray ward, maternity suites, an emergency room, laboratory, and surgery center.  

Over the next three decades, the county lost population, which impacted the hospital’s bottom line. By the early 1980s, the hospital again faced financial trouble and, in 1985, disaster struck again. A 200-year flood inundated the basement of the hospital, with waters reaching a foot above the first floor. The flood destroyed the hospital’s laboratory, x-ray room, emergency room, dietary area, central supply, and purchasing department, respiratory therapy room, and the heating system.  

Neighbors once again mobilized to save the hospital. The county court and local leaders decided to move the hospital two miles away and out of the flood plain. Community members, employees and local businesses all donated to the hospital building fund. In October 1995, Pocahontas Memorial Hospital opened for business in Buckeye, WV. 

When a second 200-year flood devastated downtown Marlinton later that year, Pocahontas Memorial Hospital returned the generosity the community had shown over the years. The hospital housed residents who needed care or refuge from the flood.  

Today, PMH is a licensed, 25-bed critical-care hospital with Level IV Trauma Center and provider-based Rural Health Clinic designations. Every healthy community has a thriving health care system. PMH is a strong health care facility that has served the region for more than a century. Over the years, PMH has delivered these critical services to the Greenbrier Valley and Potomac Highlands:  

  • Acute care 

  • Ambulance services 

  • Community outreach services and programs 

  • Diabetes education 

  • Emergency services 

  • Laboratory services 

  • Outpatient nursing center 

  • Radiology services 

  • Rehabilitation services including physical, occupational, and speech therapies 

  • Respiratory therapy 

  • Retinopathy exams through telemedicine 

  • Rural Health Clinic, with total family health care, including physical exams, chronic disease management, family practice, immunizations, and women’s and children’s services 

  • Specialty clinics 

  • Wound care clinic 

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