WMC, WVU deal good for our area

The term “cut-throat competition” might have been invented to describe the health care industry. Within it, vying aggressively for customers is a fact of life.

It is a pleasure, then, to be reminded that when cooperation really counts to save lives, some health care providers are eager to work together.

A new collaboration agreement between Weirton Medical Center and West Virginia University Medicine is being kicked off with news of a partnership that should benefit stroke patients. It “will greatly enhance the opportunity for local patients to minimize the long-term effects of a stroke, while providing access to world-class specialty care, without ever leaving their community,” explained Medical Center President and CEO John Frankovitch.

Time is of the essence in treating stroke patients, and the WVU Stroke Center excels in that regard. WVU Medicine also is advancing “telemedicine” in West Virginia, in recognition of the fact that so many of our state’s residents live in rural areas.

Through the new collaboration, “telestroke” services will be available to patients in Weirton. In essence, that means specialists in Morgantown will communicate quickly with those treating stroke patients in Weirton. It is not making too much of a leap to predict that will save lives — as well as enhancing the quality of life for many people recovering from strokes.

No doubt the partnership between WVU Medicine and Weirton Medical Center will result in other important benefits in the future.

One will be WVU’s aid in recruiting additional physicians for the Weirton area. Good for both parties in recognizing the importance of cooperation to provide the best health care possible.