CHARLESTON, W.Va. — WVU Medicine Thomas Hospitals is celebrating its one year anniversary of being a member of the state’s largest health system with a soft opening of a new orthopedic hospital in Charleston.

Following a 2022 partnership announced between Thomas Health, West Virginia University Health System and Saint Francis Hospital, the repurposed Saint Francis facility will now become West Virginia’s first full-service and comprehensive orthopedic hospital.

Charleston Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin and state and federal representatives joined WVU Health officials Wednesday afternoon to celebrate the milestone and the creation of the new hospital at the Saint Francis campus downtown.

Orthopedic Surgeon at Saint Francis and project director Dr. Clark Adkins said the new facility located directly within Saint Francis is unique in the sense that it’s also the state’s first boutique hospital.

“We want a small hospital that is patient-friendly, provides easy-access for the patients, and that’s more focused on the patient experience,” Adkins said.

Using the most cutting-edge technology available which WVU Medicine invested into the ongoing project to renovate and expand Saint Francis, Adkins said the facility will offer expanded inpatient and outpatient units, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and skilled nursing under one roof.

In addition, he said the hospital will include a walk-in clinic as well as six orthopedic, spine, and nerve physician offices.

Orthopedic facility in Saint Francis Hospital

Adkins said these smaller, more intimate hospital settings are becoming a new and growing trend everywhere.

“Boutique hospitals are something that’s being developed around the country, and they’ve been very successful, patients really like that boutique-feel,” he said.

Adkins said the hospital unit at Saint Francis has been used for many years and has served as various uses, including a skilled nursing unit, a long-term care facility and a drug addiction unit, and he said while those facilities are still at the hospital, this new addition is bringing a whole new service line to Saint Francis.

He said it’s somewhat of a rebirth of the hospital and a new step in his already 30 year long career in the Charleston area.

“I was in private practice in town and we worked in all of the hospitals in the valley including this one, but now I’m with WVU and this is actually very exciting,” said Adkins.

Saint Francis has been in the process of transitioning and expanding its traditional hospital services since the partnership between the health organizations in late 2022.

The first orthopedic surgeries will begin taking place at the repurposed facility there starting Jan. 9.

A grand opening and ribbon cutting is set for spring when the renovation project will fully be complete.