Morgan County ARH Hospital officials hosted a grand reopening Monday to celebrate the restoration of the tornado-damaged facility in West Liberty.
No patients or staff were injured in the March 2 twister but the second-floor windows were blown out, the roof was damaged, exterior doors were torn off their hinges and cars were demolished in the parking lot. Damages totaled nearly $4 million.
The hospital's emergency room never closed, but damage to the second floor of the hospital prevented inpatient admissions for several months.
After five months of work, the 150-employee hospital showed off its repaired facility on Monday. Following the morning ceremony, the hospital hosted an afternoon back-to-school bash in which local school children received free supplies, food and entertainment. The supplies were donated by employees associated with UK HealthCare.
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"It has been said that stress, pressure and calamity act as a winnowing fan that brings out the true character of people, organizations and communities," said Steve Gavalchik, community CEO for the hospital, in a statement. "I would never wish an experience like this on anyone, yet I know I was given a very special honor and blessing, because through it I got to see the very best of people."