Special meeting set in wake of hospital closing

The Patrick County Board of Supervisors and the Patrick County Economic Development Authority Board will hold a special called meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 27, at 6 p.m. in Stuart.

Held in the board room of the Patrick County Administration Building, the meeting “will be an informational session,” according to Tom Rose, county administrator.

Pioneer Community Hospital of Patrick closed on Friday, Sept. 15.

The clinic, Pioneer Family Medical of Stuart, will continue to see patients already scheduled, according to the release.

“To my understanding, Pioneer Family Medical of Stuart is not scheduled to close,” the office manager said on Monday. It is open and operating regular hours, she said.

Lab work is available through Labcorp, which maintains an office in the Patrick County Family Practice in Stuart.

County and economic development officials are working together on a fact-finding mission regarding the potential sale of the Pioneer Community Hospital of Patrick, according to Rose and Economic Development Director Debbie Foley.

“We’ve been making calls all over the country to try and get some (potential) buyers interested in the hospital,” Rose said.

It is a battle against the clock, both said.

“We hope to find someone interested” quickly, at least before the hospital is required to surrender its operating license, Foley said, and noted that generally, licenses must be returned within 30 days of closing.

The hospital closed Sept. 15.

“Pioneer decided to go this route. The closing put us in a severe time crunch. We are trying to sprint ahead,” with discussions between the management company, potential lenders and others, Foley said.

Additionally, because the hospital was working through bankruptcy, approval from the court will be required, according to Foley and Rose.

Rose added officials can apply for a variance that would grant additional time. It could be issued if “we’re showing some headway,” he said. “Our biggest challenge right now is time.”

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