Missouri town loses hospital after 100 years

Pinnacle Regional Hospital in Boonville, Mo., closed Jan. 15 with little notice to employees or the local community. It's one of several rural hospitals in Missouri that have shut down in recent years.

Local residents were blindsided by Pinnacle Regional's abrupt closure, Boonville Mayor Ned Beach told KMBC. The town is now without a hospital for the first time in more than 100 years, and Boonville residents must drive 30 minutes to the nearest hospital.    

Pinnacle Regional is one of 126 rural hospitals in the U.S. that have closed since 2010, according to the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research. Since 2014, seven rural hospitals in Missouri have shut down, according to the Sheps Center.

Mr. Beach told KMBC the town lost its sense of security when Pinnacle Regional closed. The hospital shut down about a month after the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services inspected the facility and cited it for sterile processing procedures. Hospital officials initially said they were working with the state to rectify the situation, but they ultimately decided to close the facility instead of making the repairs.

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