WILLIAMSON — Williamson Memorial Hospital announced in a press release on Monday evening that they currently plan to close their hospital facility sometime in the month of April.
The exact date of the closure is unknown at this time but should take place "approximately April 21, 2020," according to the release.
The release said that the closure is impacted by recent developments, in particular the COVID-19 pandemic which has slowed the interests of potential buyers of the facility during the outbreak.
"The impending closure is the result of recent developments that make it impossible to continue operations at Williamson Memorial," the press release said. "Williamson Memorial is currently operating as a debtor-in-possession in bankruptcy case number 2:19-bk-20469, in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of West Virginia. In February, the hospital commenced in its pending bankruptcy case an effort to sell its business as a going concern. In order to fund the on-going operating losses at the hospital until the anticipated closing of the sale, the hospital obtained a loan which it believed would be sufficient to enable it to stay open until the sale closed in early April. This process was totally disrupted by the COVID-19 crisis currently facing our country. All of the parties who were seriously interested in buying the hospital were themselves healthcare providers. These entities are now devoting almost all of their time and energy to preparing their current facilities to be in a position to deal with the crisis.
"As a result, these entities have no interest in taking over operations of Williamson anytime in the near future – much less in early April as had previously been anticipated, and the funding obtained in February will be insufficient to keep the hospital open for any extended period. There is no option to obtain sufficient additional financing given its existing level of debt and the large losses currently being sustained by the hospital as a result of the continuing low census and the disruption caused by the COVID-19 crisis. Thus, the only option available to the hospital is to shut down its operations."
All current employment positions at Williamson Memorial, including permanent full time and PRN employees, will be permanently affected by this closure. The local point of contact for Williamson Memorial is Gene Preston, Interim CEO. He can be contacted by telephone at (304) 899-6101.