- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 2, 2015

YADKINVILLE, N.C. (AP) - Yadkin County’s board of commissioners has accused the management of Yadkin Valley Community Hospital of putting its financial concerns above the welfare of the community when it decided to close the facility two months before its lease expired.

The board asked a federal court to find the hospital manager in contempt of court for closing the facility on May 22 despite a state judge’s temporary restraining order that day to keep it open, The Winston-Salem Journal reports (https://bit.ly/1GVPhxf).

Local officials don’t know how quickly a federal judge will consider their request against HMC/CAH Consolidated Inc.

Yadkin County owns the hospital, but HMC/CAH holds the licenses to operate the hospital. It has 20 inpatient beds and employs 150 workers.

Yadkin County officials had tried to get the company to honor the hospital’s lease through the July 31 expiration date, but HMC/CAH says it would have suffered at least a $300,000 operating loss for that two-month period.

The county says the company’s financial justification was not a viable reason to close the hospital.

“Defendants’ financial protestations - which pale when compared with the real danger to local residents which defendants created by removing emergency care from the county - are unavailing because any financial loss to defendants is due to defendants’ own wrongful conduct,” the county wrote in a court document.

The county is also seeking compensation for the measures it took to enhance the county’s ability to respond to emergencies.

“Thank heavens we have not had a major emergency (since the closing), but we feel very confident our emergency personnel can respond effectively and appropriately,” Commission Chairman Kevin Austin said.

The company has asked that the dispute be sent to federal court but would not comment.


Information from: Winston-Salem Journal, https://www.journalnow.com

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