Bankrupt Hutcheson To Go On Auction Block in December
A bankruptcy judge in Rome, Georgia on Thursday said the words north Georgia residents feared were coming–the hospital is broke and must go on the auction block.
A lack of official information is creating problems in the community.
After years of financial struggles—failed alliances like an operating agreement with Erlanger 5 years ago, and bids to sell its branches, Hutcheson medical Center is still embroiled in a half dozen legal actions.
The bankruptcy court has clamped a news blackout on the administration and that has kept most people in Walker and Catoosa counties in the dark.
Community TV station owner Judy O’Neal hears the questions on her talk shows.
JUDY O’NEAL, UCTV OWNER "What are they gonna do..where are they going to go? They’re worried abiout if they have a wreck on the parkway where they’re gonna go."
O’neal says sources tell her there will eventually be another community hospital there.
JUDY O’NEAL "I think the people need to know that I think there still is hope."
Medical providers who have no connection with Hutcheson are being touched.
DR. JOHN NELSON, BATTLEFIELD IMAGINING "We’ve had patients calling asking us are we going to be able to keep our appointment before you close? Do I need to find a new place to go? "
Dr. Nelson’s practice, at 3100 Battlefield Parkway is no longer associated with Hutcheson. Other doctors in that building are also independent, but there’s still a troublesome marquee out front .
Dr. Nelson believes things will eventually work out.
DR. JOHN NELSON "We all believe..the physicians that are in North Georgia believe that once all the dust settles the Phenix is going to rise up out of the ashes…there will be a new medical facility, probably down here on the parkway built."
Residents hope Hutcheson, or its successor, will find direction before the end of the year.
JACK GOODLET, OWNER, PARK PLACE RESTAURANT "What will happen to this end of town as far as the economy..but the bigger question is all of the employees up there..got a lot of good friends who work up there."
At one time the hospital employed 900 people.
Most have already been laid off.
Assets of Hutcheson will go on the auction block on December 3rd.
Bidders are also wanted for Battlefield Parkway Ambulatory Care Center, but the sale of Parkside Nursing Home is pending.