BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio — State and local leaders gathered for the official reopening ceremony on Monday morning at East Ohio Regional Hospital.
The hospital closed its doors in 2019, but thanks to new owner Dr. John Johnson, it reopened in February.
Due to the pandemic restrictions, they waited to have an official gathering.
Among those to speak at the event were Gov. Mike DeWine, Congressman Bill Johnson, State Representative Ron Ferguson, and Johnson.
"When a hospital closes, they usually stay closed," DeWine said. "Dr. Johnson came in, had the vision, we were able to help, but a lot of other people helped as well. And what we see today -- 400 employees, an emergency room that’s open that people can go into and are going into, a nursing home right next-door -- all of these things are vital for the Martins Ferry community and the whole Ohio Valley.
“This is a happy day, this is a blessed day. I’m just delighted as governor of the state of Ohio to be able to be here and to see this happening. I’m optimistic not only about the future of the state, I’m very optimistic about the future of the Ohio Valley."
"This is such a happy occasion that so many of us here had hoped to see for a long time," Johnson said.
"When this hospital closed, everybody went into a state of panic,” Johnson said. “We didn't know how it was going to end up, thank God Dr. John Johnson came along and had a vision for not only reopening the hospital, but you heard what he said, as an economic driver for Martins Ferry and this part of Belmont County."
"People's first two concerns in life are having a job and healthcare, and now we have that access to healthcare in Belmont County,” Ferguson said. “That's what people have been wanting, I'm happy to see that we've been able to deliver exactly that."