Oswego Community Hospital Abruptly Closes

Employees cite several issues, including pay
Oswego Community Hospital Abruptly Closes
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Diane Young has been a nurse at the Oswego Community Hospital for 18 years.. Gina Russell for almost seven.

Gina Russell, registered nurse:”It didn’t hit me until it hit me.. until I realized what was happening, what was going down.”

Heartbreak and uncertainty are what several employees are feeling after the Oswego Community Hospital abruptly closed Wednesday night.

Former hospital CEO Bill Cochran says the doors closed Wednesday night around 8-pm.. partly because of inadequate nursing staff.

Bill Cochran, former CEO:”We were trying to find staff to work the second shift.. we reached out to other entities trying to find resources to keep the hospital open.. we saw things happening that we couldn’t stop.”

Employees say.. and Cochran confirms.. they have had insurance and 401-k premiums that have come out of their checks, but not to their benefits, for several months.

Leaving employees with no coverage, or larger than expected bills.

Russell:”I’ve heard complaint after complaint after complaint of people having issues of them going to the doctor and finding out their not covered.”

Lab Director Jessica Mayfield told us lab supplies in the ER that are critical to operations have been low for months as well..

Cochran says their managing company until the 8th Empower HMS has been paying for supplies after staff sends them invoices.. but that wasn’t possible Wednesday night.

Cochran:”Those supplies would have expired that we could have used for some of those tests at midnight last night. And we did not have any supplies to put back in.”

The most recent problem though.. employees didn’t get paid on the 8-th.. and still haven’t been paid.

Cochran:”I had a discussion with the management team, which would be gentlemen like Jorge Perez, Michael Christensen. They said that they were working on payroll, and that by 1 o’clock Wednesday there would be some information about payroll happening. Around that time I called George Perez, and he informed me he would call me back in 15 minutes. It was after a long period of time.. I never heard anything back about payroll.”

All causing employees to *not* come in.

Russell:”I don’t think that our superiors expected us, or any of us, to come in with no pay. And it wouldn’t have really made a difference if we came in or not because you cannot function without the right supplies.”

All Wednesday night, Labette Health had an ambulance on site at the hospital in case of emergency’s, and Cochran says no patients were in the hospital when it closed.

But now.. many employees are looking for other jobs.

Diane Young, registered nurse:”I want to really say that I love our hospital.. I’m heartbroken..”

Cochran resigned from his position as CEO shortly after the hospital closed Wednesday night.

The clinics in Oswego and Chetopa can’t operate without the hospital being open.

Announcements were made on the 8-th that iHealthcare Inc would take over operations from Empower HMS — but it’s unclear who *currently* operates the hospital — or when it may re-open.

We’ve reached out to both — but have not heard back from either.

We also reached out to Kansas Department of Health and Environment, who say they can’t release any information at this time.

Labette Health officials say they’re working with the Oswego mayor and private citizens to ensure health care is available in the region.

As part of that, officials say they’ve ordered a temporary clinic facility to be delivered in the next couple of weeks.

During the time that clinic is operating, Labette Hhealth will begin the planning stages of setting up a permanent clinic.