Iowa hospital to close in October

Blessing Health will close its hospital in Keokuk, Iowa, on Oct. 1. 

Quincy, Ill.-based Blessing Health said the decision to close the hospital was driven by several factors, including financial challenges and low demand for inpatient care. "The hospital has been in a financial crisis for 10 years," the health system said in a Sept. 1 news release.

The 49-bed hospital is also in need of significant investments to update decayed vital infrastructure. Based on patient use of hospital-based services in Keokuk, health system leaders said an investment that could total millions of dollars can't be made responsibly. 

"Demand for outpatient and specialty care is strong at Blessing Health Keokuk Clinic. That is where we will focus our energy and resources to help improve the health of this community," said Kathy Hull, chief of small rural hospitals for Blessing Health. 

The hospital's 147 employees will be retained until Nov. 4 in a combination of either on-site work or on administrative leave. 

After the closure, the hospital property will be put up for sale, Blessing Health said.

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