25 May Consider Campbellton-Graceville Hospital SAVED
Source: Jackson County Times
All systems are GO at Campbellton-Graceville Hospital—the emergency room, admissions and the doctor’s outpatient clinic next door—but it will take “six to nine months” of work to complete the change in ownership to Chicago-based People’s Choice Hospital, Vice President Jorge Perez said Monday afternoon. “We got to this hospital in time,” Perez explained. “We’ve rescued worse distressed rural hospitals, because that is what we do. But CGH had avoided bankruptcy and other deep trouble that we usually find. Our goal is to bring the hospital into the 22nd Century through technology. We plan to put about $2 million into CGH in the next two months while we reduce operating overhead by 30 percent.”
The for-profit corporation’s website, www. PeoplesChoiceHospital.com, shows how they operate. Through what they call “telemedicine,” specialists can direct patient care from a distance while nurses, doctors and nurse practioners at CGH do the treatment. The company President is Seth Guterman M.D. of Chicago. The first PCH personnel arrived in Graceville just three weeks ago but the hospital board was ready to negotiate because it was completely out of money and more than $1 million in debt. Employees hadn’t been paid in weeks and their numbers had shrunk from 90 to 30. At one point, there were no patients. TIMES photo by Bo McMullian Transition team and CGH staff member were all smiles Monday afternoon, a change from recent weeks. They included People’s Choice Hospitals VPs Jorge Perez (far left) and Ricardo Perez (third from right) and Director of Nurses Peggy Moore (fifth from left) as well as Becky Toole and Jessica Hatcher, radiology; Barbara Roben, lab; RN Marta Peck; LPN Leola Roberts; nursing assistant Shirley Greenwood; Jose Prendes, PCH; and Samantha Skipper, medical records. A downside to the changeover is that People’s Choice will not need the 90 employees CGH had until recently. Administrator H.D. Cannington was relieved of duty when PCH took over on Monday, May 11. The change in management came after the CGH Board of Trustees voted unanimously to sell to PCH, Perez said. Former assistant administrator Vanessa McCroan will be the new administrator and Director of Nursing Peggy Moore will keep her job. But Perez said PCH probably would limit the new employee count to 65.
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