Layoffs necessary to save Calhoun Hospital
In a last ditch effort to keep open it's doors, Calhoun Memorial Hospital made the difficult decision to layoff 29 employees, the last of which was informed Wednesday morning, making for an emotional day for the hospital staff.
"(They've been here) 30, 35, 36 years, and to have to say goodbye, they've truly given their hearts, and love this place and love the community," said hospital pharmacist Sally Ray.
The cuts were necessary do to a large increase in charity and indigent care services. By the end fiscal year 2012, the hospital occurred 1.8 million dollars in free care.
Due to a high unemployment rate, low number of insured citizens and the government not paying full cost for Medicare and Medicaid, the hospital is unable cover that amount of free care.
"As a result of that, we're finding it very difficult to stay afloat. We've had to sell our assisted living facility in Edison, we've also had to sell our nursing home," said Earl Whiteley, the CEO of the Calhoun County Hospital Authority.
For now, the hospital remains open, which is good news for people facing an emergency medical situation, as the next closest major hospital is one hour away.
"Here we have a full service emergency room, 24 hours a day, where we can stabilize your situation and get you to a high level of care," said Whiteley
With the long term future of the hospital being unknown, all Whiteley and his employees say they can do is hope and pray for the best.
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