Hayes Says Prayer Needed To Stop Hutcheson Hospital Foreclosure

Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - by Hollie Webb

In the first of three public hearings in a community effort to "Save Hutcheson Hospital," CEO Farrell Hayes said, "We are looking at all possible avenues to stop this. It's in the hands of the Lord...what we need is your prayer."

 

Hutcheson Hospital is currently facing foreclosure by the Erlanger Health System due to non payment of a $20 million loan.

 

During the meeting, many members of the crowd spoke about the positive effects Hutcheson has had on their lives.

 

Stephanie Butcher, an employee at the hospital, said the proximity of Hutcheson likely saved her daughter's life. While playing outside, the young girl was bitten by an insect and developed a severe allergic reaction.During the short drive from her home to Hutcheson, Ms. Butcher's daughter started to go into anaphylactic shock. Arriving at the hospital, she was immediately rushed in for care.

 

Ms. Butcher said, "I think the community needs to realize that minutes matter." She said if she had been forced to drive to Chattanooga, it might have been too late for her daughter.

 

She added, "Seeing a familiar face that you know truly cares about you makes all the difference in the world."

 

Another Catoosa County resident shared a similar story. He said he suffered a massive heart attack and would not have been able to survive a long ambulance ride to another hospital.

 

CEO Hayes said, "Even if you don't stay there, you're a lot better off getting stabilized in our Hutcheson ER than you are in the back of an ambulance."

 

If the hospital is closed, the nearest emergency center for many North Georgia residents will be over 30 minutes away, it was stated. The approximately 87,000 patients the hospital treats each year will have to travel a much greater distance.

 

Another woman from the community told the board that they would need a solid plan if they wanted to save the hospital. She said, "You have to come up with something besides saying you have great people."

 

The Hutcheson Board Chairman said that much of the hospital's financial woes stemmed from mismanaged administrations in the past. At one point, he said there were five different boards operating the hospital and about 50 people making decisions.

 

He said, "We could've closed a year ago without the support of the community. I guarantee you we are working forward toward the continuing survival of this hospital."

 

“Hutcheson Medical Center’s vitality is irrevocably linked with the vitality of the surrounding North Georgia community,” said Mr. Hayes. “If Hutcheson is shut down, the health of thousands of North Georgian citizens, as well as the health of our local economy, will be in jeopardy. A community cannot be separated from its hospital without also suffering a loss of life.”

 

With the nearest emergency department located up to 30 minutes away, Mr. Hayes said that 35,000 patients treated by Hutcheson’s ED each year may be endangered by the additional commute to a Chattanooga area hospital in health situations when minutes matter. He also cited "the more than $33 million of free medical care Hutcheson provides each year to patients without insurance who will lose a reliable healthcare provider with Hutcheson’s closing."

 

Mr. Hayes said the boarding up of Hutcheson’s doors will result in the closure of the hospital’s multiple outpatient clinics, which currently serve more than 41,000 patients each year. Further losses will include Hutcheson’s Fuller Cancer Center, which received 5,000 patient visits in the past year alone for chemo and radiation treatments, as well as its Parkside nursing home, which currently houses more than 100 elderly patients, he said.

 

“Hutcheson is more than a hospital for our 100 plus Parkside residents - it is their home,” said Mr. Hayes. “If Hutcheson were to close, there are currently not enough beds available in the Chattanooga area to house everyone at Parkside. Residents will be forced to move to out-of-town facilities, which will place a tremendous burden on both the residents and their families.”

 

Hutcheson Medical Center will host two additional public hearings within the next two weeks. The next hearing will be held this Thursday, Nov. 13, from 7 until 8 p.m. at the Walker County Civic Center Auditorium, followed by the final public hearing on Tuesday, Nov. 18, from 7 until 8 p.m. at the Dade County Administrative Building.

 

Beyond attending the public hearings, Save Hutcheson supporters also encourage North Georgia residents to sign the Save Hutcheson petition available online or on-site at Hutcheson Medical Center. Copies of the petition will also be circulated at each of the upcoming hearings.


Latest Hamilton County Arrest Report

Police Blotter: Couple Rolls Over $100 Worth Of Beer Out Of Dollar General

Upcoming City Council Agenda For Tuesday


Here is the latest Hamilton County arrest report: BARROW, NOLA A 6674 RINGGOLD ROAD EAST RIDGE, 37412 Age at Arrest: 37 years old Arresting Agency: Red Bank THEFT --- BENSON, SUSAN ... (click for more)

Officers checked out a shoplifting at the Dollar General, 7345 Lee Hwy. The manager told police that two people rolled a cart full of beer out of the store. She said it was a least $100 worth ... (click for more)

Here is the upcoming City Council agenda for Tuesday: I. Call to Order by Chairman Henderson. II. Pledge of Allegiance/Invocation (Councilwoman Berz). III. Special Presentations. ... (click for more)



Breaking News

Latest Hamilton County Arrest Report

Here is the latest Hamilton County arrest report: BARROW, NOLA A 6674 RINGGOLD ROAD EAST RIDGE, 37412 Age at Arrest: 37 years old Arresting Agency: Red Bank THEFT --- BENSON, SUSAN DIANE 4505 HARDING PIKE NASHVILLE, 37205 Age at Arrest: 62 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga OBSTRUCTING HIGHWAY OR OTHER PASSAGEWAY DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE --- BURNS, ... (click for more)

Police Blotter: Couple Rolls Over $100 Worth Of Beer Out Of Dollar General

Officers checked out a shoplifting at the Dollar General, 7345 Lee Hwy. The manager told police that two people rolled a cart full of beer out of the store. She said it was a least $100 worth of Miller Lite, Bud Light and Corona Beer. She said a black female distracted the cashier, while a black male rolled the cart out of the store and loaded the beer into a blue Impala. The manager ... (click for more)

Opinion

Ron Swafford Has Had An Outstanding Career

It has been a pleasure working with Ron Swafford in City Court. Ron has done a great job and has had an outstanding career. During the pandemic Ron and his staff worked tirelessly and courageously to keep the wheels on, even while in court proceedings were cancelled. During our working relations, Ron and I have become good friends. He is a good man with a fine family. I ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

The best giggle came this week when Texas A&M football coach Jimbo Fisher – feeling his oats -- told a bunch of Aggie boosters he promised he would beat Nick Saban while Nick was still coaching football at Alabama. The media wags could hardly wait for Saban’s reaction and his calm two-word reply was so classic it is still being chiseled in granite somewhere: “In golf?” This ... (click for more)

Sports

Lookouts Rally But Lose Thriller to Trash Pandas

here. here.Mike Trout may be the best player in baseball, but the Lookouts 2,550 fans probably left AT&T field believing the best player of his generation might soon have competition in centerfield. The Trash Panda’s Orlando Martinez looked like 2001 Barry Bonds reincarnated against Chattanooga and sent three towering shots over the rightfield wall in a game that also featured ... (click for more)

Lookouts, Trash Pandas Split Doubleheader

The Lookouts are three games into their season and the celebration of baseball being back at AT&T Field continues. While fireworks weren’t scheduled Chattanooga and the visiting Trash Pandas managed to give the fans in attendance for Thursday night’s doubleheader a bit of snap, crackle and pop with a bit of fizzle for both teams that ended in a split and the first-ever win in ... (click for more)