CHILLICOTHE, TX (KFDX/KJTL) The Chillicothe Hospital has served the people of Chillicothe and surrounding areas for about 70 years now.
On Tuesday, neighbors throughout Chillicothe like Carrie Pawloski were informed their hospital is closing.
“As a mom of two little children, two little boys who are very rambunctious it’s a little concerning that the nearest hospital is going to be about 15 minutes away from us,” Pawloski said. “We have had to use the emergency room before, one of our children broke their collarbone, so it’s a little scary knowing that the hospital is not right across the street anymore.”
The hospital was built in 1949 as a premier hospital but in the 1970s and 1980s, hospital board President Ray Hopkins said things started to change.
“Last time they did surgery in this hospital was probably the late 70s or early 80s and they would bring somebody in from Wichita Falls to do that, a specialist,” Hopkins said. “They delivered babies here until the late 70s again and maybe early 80s but after that, they lost those.”
After a discussion, the board decided last Monday with a decrease in population over the years the hospital costs too much to keep open.
We’ve had a decrease in patient volume,” Interim CEO William Barnes said. “Very few admissions come here anymore. We have too much competition, two neighboring cities that patients can go to. We’ve had manpower shortages so decreasing reimbursement for services.”
So now, that is forcing Pawloski and others to find a new place to go.
“Vernon would probably be our best bet,” Pawloski said. “We’ve heard great things about Vernon. That’s probably our only option, I don’t know anything else that would be closer to us if anything specific is necessary of course would probably have to go to Wichita.”
Pawloski believes this will really impact the elderly too living on a set budget. But, the decision is made, and in just under a week, doors at Chillicothe Hospital will close for good.
The final day for the emergency room and the hospital on July 22, 2019, but the clinic will remain open.