Update: Patrick County hospital announces closure

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STUART, Va. (WDBJ7) The parking lot was full at the Pioneer Community Hospital on Thursday, but it won't be that way for long.

The hospital released the following statement Wednesday evening:

September 13th, 2017 – Pioneer Health Services is announcing it will be closing Pioneer Community Hospital of Patrick.

"As most of you know, Pioneer Community Hospital of Patrick County filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection on March 30, 2016 due to financial hardships,” said Jeanette Filpi, administrator of the Hospital. “Since that time, we have worked diligently to structure a sale of the hospital to maintain viable operations. Unfortunately, our best efforts were unsuccessful and we have no choice but to close the hospital at this time.”

While exploring the sale of the Hospital, the physician recruited in 2016 to lead the Hospital’s clinic submitted his resignation on July the 31st with his final day being September 30th.

Throughout the closing process, the treatment of current inpatients are the top priority for Pioneer Health Services, noted Filpi.

The Hospital closing schedule will be as follows:
• All acute care patients in the Hospital right now will be cared for on site until they are stable for discharge or transfer.
• The Hospital’s clinic will continue to see patients already scheduled.
• Currently scheduled outpatient visits will continue at the Hospital through Friday the 15th of September.
• The emergency room will be put on diversion.

Patrick County's Emergency Services Coordinator says the county doesn't have career EMS workers. They're all volunteers and this will really affect them.

"It's took our transport times from about 30 minutes to two to three hours due to us having to go to Martinsville or a northern hospital in Surry County, maybe Galax, Twin Count," says Emergency Services Coordinator, Steve Allen.

Allen says he was blindsided by the announcement. He, and the rest of the county were under the impression a sale was going through at the end of the month.

"Yesterday at 12:57 I got a phone call from the hospital giving me a heads up that as of 5:00 yesterday the ER was not accepting any more patients, that everything would be on diversion," says Allen.

We've reached out to the hospital for additional comment but have not heard back.

ORIGINAL STORY

Medical workers in Patrick County are being asked to divert patients away from the emergency department at Pioneer Community Hospital in Stuart.

Workers in the hospital's emergency room began diverting patients away from the facility at 5 PM Wednesday, according to Patrick County Emergency Services Coordinator Steve Allen.

Allen tells WDBJ7 he has been informed that the emergency department has shut down.

WDBJ7 has reached out to hospital administrators for comment and additional information regarding the closure. Our calls have not been returned.