A local hospital is working to make a comeback.
Two months ago the Horton Hospital shut its doors. Then new management said it might reopen.
On Monday hospital management told KSNT News that the clinic is tentatively set to open on July 1st and the hospital itself in August.
Horton hospital management said financial issues with corporate owners Empower HMS are what forced the hospital to close its doors in March. A judge appointed a trustee to take over and he made the decision to salvage the hospital.
Chief of Staff Dr. Richard Brown said ever since that decision teams have been working to make it happen.
“Since then they’ve been selecting management teams and finding the finances and doing some allocations of funds to get things up and running,” Brown said.
A small restoration team has been working inside of the hospital to do the paperwork to get the doors open.
Dr. Brown said for the first time now paychecks are headed their way. But, former employees haven’t gotten the back pay they’re owed.
“I want to make it crystal clear that all employees will be a priority. If I have a say in this, which i do, as we move forward, all employees who weren’t paid, we’ll make it a priority to get them paid,” Brown said. “Now I can’t say when and how that’s going to happen, but even the retirement funds that have been neglected in the past, they will be addressed as well.”
Dr. brown tells me the reopening wouldn’t be happening without the support of people like Rick and Jeannie Clouse.
“We care about the staff, they’re friends. We have good doctors. The nurses take such good care of us. Like I said, honestly we need a local hospital,” Jeannie Clouse said.
They own an auto parts business in town and say they desperately need their hospital back. Especially after what happened to them over the weekend.
“The wife thought she was having a heart attack and drove to Atchison because there was no place here in town to go to. That’s a very scary scenario,” Rick Clouse said.
Everybody shares the same hopes for the future.
“I’d like to see it like we had before, a very robust hospital, good providers, people could depend on us,” Brown said. “I’d like to see the community have ownership of this hospital.”
Dr. Brown said Empower HMS is not involved in this reopening at all and he believes they are under investigation.
We’ve tried to reach out to the company ever since problems started surfacing but they’ve ignored our calls.