PRESS RELEASE: HEALTH CARE AUTHORITY
The Hospital Board is deeply saddened by the devastating news of the closing of our hospital. The sense of loss to the community of such a fundamentally important resource, and the profound sense of sadness for the highly dedicated and loyal employees of the hospital, many who have worked at the Hospital for decades, are overwhelming. While the sudden manner of its departure is quite surprising and disappointing, the efforts of RHG over the last year and a half to maintain a hospital in our community, and its significant expenditures of funds to try to turn the hospital into a sustainable business are to be commended, the Board certainly understands that Company’s resources are not unlimited, and as a result, however painful, we respect its decision. The reasons that our community could not sustain a hospital are complex; multi-faceted; and, subject to now pointless debate. The Board will continue to work on those efforts that it commenced post-sale of the hospital to address remaining creditor issues, and to fully complete it tasks. The support of the community as a whole, and City leaders in particular, over the last many years during the struggle to keep the hospital open have been heartwarming, and are why we are proud to call Wellington our home.
City of Wellington Press Release
From: Shane J. Shields, City Manager
Date: March 13, 2020
Re: Closing of Sumner Community Hospital
The closing of Sumner Community Hospital is unfortunate for our community and a sad day that the City had hoped would never come. A local hospital is an important and vital facility in any community. The financial difficulties of our local hospital have been ongoing for a number of years. It was the hope that Rural Hospital Group (RHG) would be able to overcome the difficulties and be successful in the longer-term plans to construct a new and financially sustainable hospital. That task appears to be insurmountable.
The most immediate impact of the hospital closing will be in the transporting of patients by our emergency personnel to hospitals in other cities. While transports to other hospitals have always occurred, they will now have to happen in every instance. For a patient in a non-critical condition, the patient may be asked where they would like to be transported. In cases where a patient needs critical care the hospital destination depends on what illness/injury is present. The City has dedicated and well-trained Paramedics and EMTs on staff to serve the community and patient care will continue at the highest level. Please know that there are also agreements in place with other EMS services for coverage when needed.
There are many other details and areas to be addressed relating to the closure of the hospital. The most important, what options may exist for the near and long-term future in the provision of emergency health care for the community. The City will diligently research and review what possibilities may exist for the best benefit for the health and safety of the community.