- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 26, 2015

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) - A group of displaced hospital workers in Yadkin County has turned to prayer in hopes of getting the facility reopened.

The Winston-Salem Journal reports (https://bit.ly/1Q8LnBA) a group of 75 employees, community leaders and former patients held a prayer vigil at Yadkin Valley Community Hospital on Tuesday, three days after its manager shut it down.

HMC/CAH Consolidated Inc., is in a dispute with county commissioners over the hospital. Although the county owns the facility, HMC/CAH holds the licenses that allow the hospital to function.

At stake are the hospital’s 20 inpatient beds and 150 jobs.

The commissioners scheduled an emergency meeting on Tuesday to offer to the public their side of the dispute. They’re also expected to discuss how to proceed legally to get a temporary restraining order enforced on HMC/CAH.

Among the people at the prayer vigil was Karyn Napper, an Ohio native who moved to the county in 2013 to serve as the hospital’s laboratory manager.

“This is my family,” she said. “These are very dedicated folks. I saw that during my interview and it made me want to move to this community.”

“We pray for our community, our hospital and our jobs,” said Shallon Collins, a hospital employee who helped organize the vigil.

Paul Nusbaum, president of Rural Community Hospitals of America, said Friday that hospital personnel and officials were evicted by law enforcement officers about 6 p.m. Friday.

County Attorney Edward Powell said HMC/CAH officials were served with a temporary restraining order - approved at 5:15 p.m. Friday by a Wake County Superior Court judge - that was meant to keep the hospital open until a June 1 hearing.

The county is requesting a preliminary injunction to force HMC/CAH to keep the hospital open and honor its lease, which ends July 31.

Individuals needing medical assistance in the county can go to an urgent care clinic at the intersection of U.S. 421 and U.S. 601 that opened earlier this month.

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

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