The Health and Human Services Committee has approved the allocation of $2.5 million from this year’s fund balance and an additional $1 million per year over the next two years to repay Lewis County Health System for millions of dollars borrowed in 2018 for the construction of the Jefferson Community College Education Center.
The funds will be used for general operations but will also specifically assist in reopening the hospital’s maternity ward, which has been closed since 2016. Jeff Hellinger, CFO of Lewis County Health System, expressed optimism about the potential to move forward with reopening the ward, noting that a new provider recently started.
The repayment plan still requires approval from the full board of legislators. If approved, this reimbursement will provide crucial financial support to the health system and contribute to the potential reopening of the maternity ward.