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North Carolina community still dealing with effects of hospital closure 13 years ago

A North Carolina community is still coping with the loss of its community hospital, which closed its doors for 13 years ago, according to the HickoryRecord.com.

Alexander Community Hospital, a 60-bed facility in Taylorsville, N.C., closed its doors in 2004 following significant financial issues, Taylorsville Town Manager David Odom told the HickoryRecord.com.

"In the late '90s, the hospital was struggling with cash flow and outstanding debt and their fixed costs were creeping up on them as well," Mr. Odom said. "A series of public hearings were held at the courthouse, and of course everybody in the community, or most in the community, wanted to do something to save the hospital, but your average citizen didn't know just how far in debt [the hospital was]."

Mr. Odom said the community "is surrounded by quality medical facilities, but [Taylorsville] is 30 minutes from everywhere," including the five closest hospitals.

The decision to close the facility significantly affected the community's 37,000 residents, leaving them without any sort of medical facility for years before an urgent care facility opened in the area in 2014.

While the urgent care facility improved healthcare in the community, medical staff at the clinic are still forced to handle cases not typically seen in urgent care settings.

"We have people come here with heart attacks and cut-off limbs and things that should go to a hospital, and we have to call EMS to have them transported because it's beyond our means," Lisa Tomlin, RN, a nurse at Urgent Care of Mountain View in Taylorsville, told the HickoryRecord.com.

To read the full report, click here.

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