An Ashland, Kentucky, based hospital has announced it will be closing at the end of September, resulting in the loss of about 1,000 area jobs.
Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital announced it will be closing in a press release earlier this week.
Officials wrote in a press release that for the past year, the hospital has been trying to troubleshoot options to keep doors open, but that ultimately they were “not enough to effectively operate in an environment that has multiple acute care facilities competing for the same patients, providers and services.” The hospital is located about a half hour from Huntington in Ashland, Kentucky. Other local facilities include Marshall Health and King’s Daughters Medical Center.
The closure will impact not only the 214-bed inpatient facility, but out-patient care sites and the physician network as well.
On their website, the National Rural Health Association reports nearly 700 rural hospitals are at risk of closure and more than 100 have closed in recent years.
In West Virginia, many rural hospitals have begun joining bigger systems such as Marshall Health and WVU Medicine to keep doors open.
Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from Marshall Health and Charleston Area Medical Center.