Employees of closed Oklahoma hospital push back, consider legal action

Pauls Valley (Okla.) Regional Medical Center employees met with the city manager Oct. 15 to discuss next steps after officials opted to shutter the facility last week, Oklahoma's News 4 reports.

The hospital authority voted Oct. 12 to shutter the facility after previous fundraising attempts failed. Officials said the hospital did not have any funding left to maintain operations.

"We couldn't pay bills. We couldn't meet the demands anymore. That's where we're at. There's no money to pay. I mean there is no money," Pauls Valley City Manager James Frizell told employees during a meeting Oct. 15.

Employees said during the meeting that their taxes and insurance premiums have not been paid for months, despite the deductions on their recent paychecks. Several employees reportedly discussed filing a class-action lawsuit against the hospital, according to the report.

Alliance Health Partners Oklahoma in Tulsa sought to step in and save the hospital in July. The company's CEO Frank Avignone started a GoFundMe page in September to raise $2 million for the facility. However, officials only raised $3,840.

During the meeting, Mr. Avignone called on the state attorney general to investigate the situation, according to the report. He also noted a recent patient death that may be partially attributed to the hospital's abrupt closure.

"They were not able to raise EMS, and they had to go to Purcell," Mr. Avignone said, according to KTEN. "By the time they did get to Purcell hospital, the patient had unfortunately expired."

Mr. Avignone said Oct. 15 unless another operator can contribute roughly $5 million to maintain operations, the hospital will likely remain closed, according to the Tulsa World.

To access the full report, click here.

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