Struggling Oklahoma hospital solicits donation from country music star

Pauls Valley (Okla.) Regional Medical Center is soliciting donations from local residents with high net worth, including country music star Toby Keith, as officials look for a long-term solution to the hospital's financial troubles, according to the Enid News & Eagle.

The cash-strapped hospital has received an outpouring of donations in recent months to help it avoid closure. Donors have contributed about $200,000 to the hospital, of which $4,000 came from a GoFundMe campaign, according to the report.

The hospital is now soliciting donations from corporate partners and individuals in the area. However, officials said this is only a short-term solution.

"Obviously, it's not a long-term strategy," Frank Avignone, CEO of Tulsa-based Alliance Health Partners Oklahoma, which took over management of the hospital in July, told the Enid News & Eagle. "There's no way we can run the hospital on a GoFundMe donation."

In September, Mr. Avignone attributed the hospital's financial crisis to prior mismanagement, poor relationships with community physicians, low admission rates and other challenges facing rural hospitals. The hospital also owes $1.3 million in Supplemental Hospital Offset Payment Program payments, and is involved in a federal lawsuit over management fees and delinquent loans from the hospital's former management company, Austin, Texas-based NewLight Healthcare.

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