A year and three months after the unexpected closing of the Yadkin Valley Community Hospital, the facility remains closed and will likely be so for some time.
“Like everything else right now, it seems the hospital industry is somewhat on hold waiting to see the outcome of the next election,” said County Chairman Kevin Austin. “Fortunately, we have qualified for the Legacy Hospital designation which will give us ample time to attract a quality hospital operator without having to go through the Certificate of Need Process. Presently, we are focused on adding quality services to the Yadkinville medical campus to help our citizens now and make it more beneficial for the right operator to take over later.”
Though the hospital itself remains closed, other medical service providers have returned to the building. Dr. James S. McGrath reopened his practice in the building last October. The county also has rented out several other spaces in the building for medical offices, including Fostering Minds, a child psychology practice with Amy Diachenko.
County officials said that reopening the entire facility is still the ultimate goal.
“We are still having conversations with several groups,” said County Manager Lisa Hughes. “The biggest obstacle is funding for the start-up costs — hiring employees, supplies, etc. — of approximately $4.5 to $5 million. These funds would run the hospital until the revenues started coming in and it is not anticipated that these funds would be recouped. If the hospital were still operational, we wouldn’t have these start-up costs.”
The county was seeking a new partner to operate the hospital in 2015 when hospital group HMC/CAH shut down the facility, defying a court order for it to remain open through the end of the lease term. After months of legal battles, the county settled with HMC/CAH earlier this year.
Hughes said though the hospital remains closed, additional services are being added.
“We continue to look for renters, trying to stay within the medical arena,” she said. “Dr. Lori Petree has rented the dental clinic space and will serve children only and opens this month. Dr. Alison Snider is also renting space within the hospital facility and will move in later this month as well.”
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter and Instagram @RippleReporterK.