Pineville moving in positive direction with hospital

Published 1:43 pm Thursday, May 23, 2019

Grant White will no longer be involved in the day-to-day operations at Southeastern Kentucky Medical Center, formerly known as Pineville Community Hospital. Wednesday morning, officials from both Pineville and Southeastern Kentucky Medical Center appeared in bankruptcy court in London at the United States Courthouse. The end result was removing White from his role at the hospital.

“We filed a motion to have Grant White removed from the day-to-day operations and both parties agree,” Pineville Mayor Scott Madon explained. “The judge didn’t have to rule on it because it was agreed on. He still has ownership of the assets and the facility, and we are working on negotiating that currently to be able to resolve that to be able to move forward.

“We are very positive. It was a very positive step for the hospital and Pineville. The first positive step we’ve had in a long time to try to get a fresh start, and we feel like we can and we are already reaching out and trying to rebuild our hospital.”

Email newsletter signup

Madon explained that both the city and Southeastern Kentucky Medical Center are submitting three names to the court as potential administrators.

“They can come in and assist the hospital,” Madon said. “I met with employees (Thursday) and told them today that it’s going to be next week before we can get them paid because the paper stuff. We’ve got that special-called meeting Tuesday, and that’s when we should know a lot more about what’s going on. There’s a lot of paper being pushed back and forth between the lawyers and myself, and I’m sure Mr. White so he can review some of it.”

According to Madon, the staff at the hospital has dwindled from a staff of close to 300 to down to approximately 100 now.

“The ones that are left, it says something about their morals and their character to stay there and work for seven weeks without pay,” he reiterated. “They’ve not had a paycheck since April 12, and they’ve continued to work. A lot of them are losing cars, losing homes. I talked to a couple of people yesterday who are being sued because their insurance money wasn’t moved forward. There are several of those. It’s a bad situation.”

Madon explained that appropriate authorities are looking into the situation.

“I’ve met with them and they are on top of that,” he said. “I do think that there will be repercussions for what’s happened to some of these people, and the bad thing is it’s hard to fix some of the things that ruin people’s credit. I do believe that there will be repercussions and some of these things will be fixed, it’s just going to take some time.”

The City of Pineville stepped in and got involved two weeks ago.

“Today is two weeks, and we’ve already been able to get Grant out of the picture,” Madon stated. “We have a plan in place to try to get employees paid, and we are trying to move forward.”

He said that it is 100 percent the goal of Pineville that there is a hospital.

“We are going to do everything in our power, and we are right now in negotiations with several people who have shown interest in it,” he explained. “I think we will prevail. We’ve got to move forward. We’ve got to stay positive and get people’s confidence back in the hospital and rebuild it.”

Most of the revenue sources for the hospital are now closed.

“The company has done away with most of our revenue sources,” Madon said. “We’ve lost most of our doctors, (and) we’ve lost our nurse practitioners. They closed the Geri psychiatric unit, the nursing home, they closed the ICU, so it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what happened to the Pineville Hospital.”

Madon said once the revenue sources closed, they continued on with the same staff and there was nothing to pay them.

“It’s been a multitude of things that have happened to the Pineville Hospital,” he said. “But the one thing I can say is that there is a strong group left and we have a plan.”

He explained that they are working to open some of those revenue sources back up.

“I’m certain that we will because Pineville has been there 80 years, and when they started 80 years ago I’m sure it was a lot harder to get it going than where we are right now,” he state. “At least we’ve got a facility, we’ve got equipment, and we’ve got good hard working people. We’ve got three of the main ingredients I think you have to have to run a good hospital.”

Madon says the judge gave both parties 24 hours to pick three people to be appointed to administration. Then, they will be jointly chosen by both parties.

Madon says they hope to have a decision on that new entity no later than Friday.

“We’ve got to get out here and get our doctors back, get some additional doctors, and get people to using our services,” Madon explained. “We’ve always been the leader in this county, our hospital has and I think that we once again will be.”