Pauls Valley hospital on the brink of shutdown - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Pauls Valley hospital on the brink of shutdown

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Pauls Valley General Hospital (KTEN) Pauls Valley General Hospital (KTEN)

PAULS VALLEY, Okla. -- The Pauls Valley Hospital Authority was scheduled to meet Wednesday to decide the fate of the city's only hospital.

The medical center's website was not online Tuesday afternoon.

At the Wednesday meeting, the authority will consider "action to cease general operations of the Pauls Valley General Hospital and to take required steps to proceed to close hospital operations."

"It's somewhere a little north of 130 employees that are immediately out of work, which in a small town such as Pauls Valley, is catastrophic," said Alliance Health Partners CEO Frank Avignone.

Staffers told KTEN a history of poor management is behind the threatened shutdown. One former employee said she was terminated last week.

"I'm sitting here now, and they say they're trying to get the money transferred to pay us," said Kelly Dillard, who had worked as an emergency room nurse.

Avignone said his company is doing all it can to preserve the Pauls Valley hospital and return it to what he said is its original mission: "Providing the services that the community needs across the board, not just one particular service line."

Pauls Valley resident Susanne Blake said she wouldn't be alive today without the hospital in her community.

"I was horrified because there was one night that I would have died if we had not had this hospital," she said.

The hospital authority's vote on closing the facility is scheduled to take place at City Hall, 100 West Paul Avenue,  at 5 p.m. Wednesday. The 64-bed hospital had filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy in 2013. It opened at its current location in 1970.

The nearest hospitals to Pauls Valley are in Arbuckle and Purcell, each about 30 minutes away.

KTEN.com editor Walt Zwirko in Denison contributed to this report.

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