Calhoun Memorial lays off 29 workers, future is uncertain - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Calhoun Memorial lays off 29 workers, future is uncertain

ARLINGTON, GA (WALB) -

The Labor Department announced Thursday that December unemployment spiked to 9.2% in southwest Georgia.

That news comes as more than two dozen people lost their jobs at a small hospital struggling to deal with rising health care costs.

The administrator says Calhoun Memorial needs a miracle to stay open and avoid 200 more job losses.

Hospitals in rural areas around the country are struggling to keep their doors open due to rising medical care costs.  Calhoun Memorial Hospital in Arlington is one of them.

"Healthcare doesn't look good going forward for anybody and as a result the small and rural hospitals are just finding it harder and harder to survive," said Calhoun County Hospital Authority CEO Earl Whiteley.

The hospital is going through critically tough economic times.

This week 29 workers were laid off.  Administrators say the hospital couldn't absorb paying $1.8 million in indigent and charitable care last year.

Now the hospital is selling assets to pay bills and the future of the hospital is bleak.

"Unless things are changed or unless congress changes the Accountable Care Act or if there's some miracle that happens, we won't last a year," said Whiteley.

That's bad news for residents like Rock Hudson.

"The closest hospital to us is over there in Blakely, Georgia in Early County. I think that'll be the closet one here I think we need one in our hometown," said Hudson.

If Calhoun Memorial closes the next nearest hospitals are almost 30 minutes away.

Something Hudson believes residents can't afford in an emergency situation.

"I really think we need the hospital over here. A lot of people don't have transportation to get anywhere else. It's best if the hospital stays open," said Hudson.

The hospital employs nearly 200 people, so a closure could cripple the county's economy.

"If the hospital goes down that makes a major economic impact on how this county is going to grow or it will grow," said Whiteley.

He hopes it doesn't come down to that.

State Labor Department workers were at the hospital, Thursday, to provide information to help the 29 laid off workers move forward.

 

Copyright 2013 WALB.  All rights reserved.  

  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • VPD makes five drug related arrests

    VPD makes five drug related arrests

    Tuesday, August 22 2017 4:57 PM EDT2017-08-22 20:57:43 GMT
    Romel Morrison, 22, Wayne Barrett, 22, Andrew Lee Williams, 55, Phillip Michael Thomas, 30, and Trumaine Alfred Jackson, 31. (Source: Lowndes Co. Jail)Romel Morrison, 22, Wayne Barrett, 22, Andrew Lee Williams, 55, Phillip Michael Thomas, 30, and Trumaine Alfred Jackson, 31. (Source: Lowndes Co. Jail)

    Five men are in jail on drug charges after the Valdosta Police Department completed a series of investigations over the last few weeks. The VPD Narcotics Unit has been working tirelessly to help clean up some of the streets in Valdosta. 

    More >>

    Five men are in jail on drug charges after the Valdosta Police Department completed a series of investigations over the last few weeks. The VPD Narcotics Unit has been working tirelessly to help clean up some of the streets in Valdosta. 

    More >>
  • GDOT installs new intersection design in Moultrie

    GDOT installs new intersection design in Moultrie

    Wednesday, August 23 2017 11:59 AM EDT2017-08-23 15:59:36 GMT
    Moultrie's RCUT is a first for Southwest Georgia (Source: WALB)Moultrie's RCUT is a first for Southwest Georgia (Source: WALB)

     Moultrie drivers are getting used to a new intersection design at US 319 and Quincy Darbyshire Road. The new design is called a Restricted Crossing U-turn, also known as RCUT. There are several in Georgia, but the RCUT in Moultrie is a first for Southwest Georgia.

    More >>

     Moultrie drivers are getting used to a new intersection design at US 319 and Quincy Darbyshire Road. The new design is called a Restricted Crossing U-turn, also known as RCUT. There are several in Georgia, but the RCUT in Moultrie is a first for Southwest Georgia.

    More >>
  • Moultrie Home Depot volunteers help Alabama veteran

    Moultrie Home Depot volunteers help Alabama veteran

    Wednesday, August 23 2017 7:52 AM EDT2017-08-23 11:52:31 GMT
    (Source: George Galligan)(Source: George Galligan)

    The Moultrie volunteers joined forces with other Home Depot associates from a couple of the Northern Florida stores.

    More >>

    The Moultrie volunteers joined forces with other Home Depot associates from a couple of the Northern Florida stores.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly