Residents urged to support license bid

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    County and economic development officials in Patrick County are asking residents to contact state legislators and push for an extension of the Acute Care Hospital license.

    The Pioneer Community Hospital of Patrick closed in September. It filed bankruptcy in 2016, according to previous reports.

    The property now may be headed to a foreclosure sale, officials have said.

    County, town and economic development officials in Patrick have worked on incentive packages and other projects to help attract potential buyers, and also tried to market the facility.

    “We are forging ahead with the anticipation that we will have a new operator for the hospital at the conclusion of the foreclosure proceeding,” Debbie Foley, director of the Patrick County Economic Development Authority, said in a release.

    “That being said, we are concerned that the license for the hospital will expire at the end of the year before a new owner will be in place,” the release stated.

    State representatives worked to extend the license to the Dec. 31 deadline, and local officials hope residents can help lobby them to pursue another legislative extension and/or renewal of the license, the release stated.

    It included a printable letter residents may sign and mail to State Sen. Bill Stanley, R-Glade Hill and/or Del. Charles Poindexter, R-Glade Hill.

    “We strongly urge all citizens of Patrick County to either use this letter as is, or to add a personal statement” and send to Stanley and Poindexter.

    The letter states “I am contacting you regarding the Acute Care Hospital license for Pioneer Community Hospital of Patrick issued by the Virginia Department of Health which is set to expire December 31, 2017.

    “As you know, Pioneer Community Hospital of Patrick initiated shut down procedures on September 15, 2017.

    “While there have been many setbacks in recent weeks, including the loss of Critical Access designation by CMS and the commencement of foreclosure proceeding by Virginia Community Capital, County officials continue to pursue potential prospects that are interested in purchasing the hospital.

    “Not only has this closure placed the citizens of Patrick County in peril, it has created a significant burden to the Volunteer Rescue Squads, as there is no paid Emergency Services in the County. The response time required by the Volunteers has doubled, if not tripled, resulting in increased wait times for treatment/transport. Also, volunteers are unable to respond due to time constraints.

    “I am respectively requesting a 6 month legislative extension of the Acute Care Hospital License for Pioneer Community Hospital of Patrick.  This extension will support, and reinforce, the continuing efforts by County officials to facilitate and assist the re-opening of the hospital in the best possible position.”

    Rickie Fulcher, of the Peters Creek District, suggested residents include their physical address and the district in which they live when contacting the state delegation.

    Letters to Stanley may be emailed to: district20@senate.virginia.gov, or mailed to 13508 Booker T Washington Highway, Moneta, Va., 24121. To reach Stanley by phone, call (540) 721-6028.

    Letters to Poindexter may be emailed to: DelCPoindexter@house.virginia.gov, or mailed to P.O. Box 117, Glade Hill, Va. 24092. To reach Poindexter by phone, call 540-576-2600.