Financial issues force closure of hospital in Pauls Valley
PAULS VALLEY, Okla. – A financially troubled community hospital in southern Oklahoma has closed its doors and discontinued ambulance service.
Officials at Pauls Valley Regional Medical Center closed the facility on Friday. A telephone call by The Associated Press to the facility on Saturday was not answered.
The Pauls Valley Police Department says an ambulance service based in nearby Purcell will serve the area through the weekend.
“Due to the closure of the Pauls Valley Hospital and EMS, arrangements have been made for Wadley’s EMS to station an ambulance in Pauls Valley to help us get through the weekend. We will be dispatching them as we would Pauls Valley EMS. As for future plans, that information has not been made available to our agency at this time but we will keep you posted,” police said on Facebook.
The nearest hospitals are about 27 miles away in Purcell and Arbuckle.
The hospital opened in 1970 and narrowly avoided closure last month, when officials said they had received enough funding to pay overdue health benefits and the salaries of 130 employees. The hospital declared bankruptcy in March 2013.
Frank Avignone, CEO of Alliance Health Partners Oklahoma, had even started a GoFundMe to keep the hospital open, however, the hospital was in such bad shape that parts of it were closed down, including the maternity ward.
“We’ve had, on several occasions, a new mom that was scheduled to have her baby in Oklahoma City or Norman and had to stop here in emergency labor, and we’ve actually delivered babies in cars,” Avignone said.
Pauls Valley is a community of about 6,000 people about 53 miles south of Oklahoma City.