UPDATE: Parkridge West shuts down medical services except ER - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Parkridge West shuts down medical services except ER

Posted: Updated:
JASPER, TN (WRCB) -

Changes are coming to Marion County, Tennessee's lone hospital.

Parkridge West announced Thursday that on Monday, April 6th, the facility will discontinue providing surgical and inpatient medical care onsite but its emergency room, imaging and lab services will remain.

"Correct, the hospital is not closing," reaffirms Carole Hoffman, the Vice-President of Human Resources for Parkridge Health System, speaking on the impending changes coming to their Jasper facility, the day after Easter.  Parkridge Health officials say the changes are due to the current financial reality and that less than 2 percent of all patients intake at Parkridge West require in-patient medical care or surgical services.  With that being said, those services are going away so the hospital can better focus on critical, emergency care.

"I hate to see it close because its going to affect this rural area," says Marion's Ben McNabb. 

"People around here actually need it, we're not like other counties that have something else to go to," says Kendra Griffith of Whitwell Mountain.

While most Marion countians shared the sentiments of Kendra Griffith and Ben McNabb, Bryant's Shirley Atchley isn't one of them. 

"I don't care if they close it and never open it, that's the way I feel," says Atchley, who blames Parkridge Hospital's predecessor, Grandview Medical, in the death of her husband four years ago.

"The filthiest, nastiest ICU I've ever been in," recalls Atchley, who says her husband died after a post-operative infection sapped his will to live. "He wound up and died after 57 days, I just don't want other people to go through what we did," says Atchley.

The Parkridge West cutbacks mean a reduction of staff impacting as many as 20 employees.

"We will try everything we can for the next several weeks or even months to place them," says Hoffman of displaced employees.  

Meanwhile back on Jasper's town square, Ben McNabb openly opines who may be impacted the most by Parkridge's decision.

"Its really going to hurt the elderly community in this county in my opinion but it is what it is with the economy and all, I guess."

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Parkridge Health System has announced that as of April 6, 2015, they will discontinue providing inpatient medical care and surgical services at Parkridge West in Jasper.

They will will continue to offer 24-hour emergency services, outpatient imaging and laboratory services, and Mountainview Treatment Center will continue to serve inpatient adult behavioral health patients.

“Parkridge Health System has invested over $14 million dollars to upgrade and renovate the emergency department, laboratory, radiology, behavioral health services and physician services at Parkridge West,” said Darrell Moore, CEO, Parkridge Health System. “We will continue to provide a high level of quality patient care to our community and focus our efforts on 24-hour emergency care, outpatient services and inpatient adult behavioral health services.”

The change in services at Parkridge West has resulted in the elimination of approximately 20 employees. Parkridge's Human Resources will assist employees displaced by the discontinuation of services by matching them to appropriate vacancies throughout the Parkridge Health System. A job fair and other services through the Employee Assistance Program will be available to all employees.

As of April 6, 2015, Parkridge West Emergency Center will offer the following services:

  • 24-Hour Emergency Care
  • On-site outpatient radiology
  • On-site outpatient laboratory
  • Mountainview Treatment Center
  • Inpatient adult behavioral health
  • Physician services in the medical office building including primary and specialty care
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