Scott County hospital to reopen by December 1

Scott County hospital to reopen by December 1

Posted:
The hospital has been closed since May 2012. The hospital has been closed since May 2012.
"Four trips to Oak Ridge paying in ambulance pays for the van," Dolph Cantrell said. "Four trips to Oak Ridge paying in ambulance pays for the van," Dolph Cantrell said.
"I anticipated this thing to be a long time before now, but every time there's always a snag, there's something comes up that has be done," Scott County Mayor Jeff Tibbals said. "I anticipated this thing to be a long time before now, but every time there's always a snag, there's something comes up that has be done," Scott County Mayor Jeff Tibbals said.

By MIKE KRAFCIK
6 News Reporter

ONEIDA (WATE) - Scott County's only hospital is inching forward to re-opening, but there are still many hurdles to go. 

Pioneer Health Systems reached an agreement with the county in March to purchase the facility.

The hospital has been closed since May 2012.  

Scott County's Board of County Commissioners approved earlier this year a transfer of the hospital facility in Oneida to Pioneer. The transfer was made in exchange for an assurance that Pioneer will operate the facility as a hospital for at least 10 years.

The new facility will be located in the same building as the old Scott County Hospital in Oneida.

Dolph Cantrell cares for his 85-year-old mother in-law. She requires so many visits to the doctors that Cantrell bought an old ETHRA van.  

"If something comes up, I have to take her to the hospital," Cantrell said.

Cantrell says the van is cheaper than the cost of ambulance trips to the nearest hospital in Oak Ridge.  

Cantrell says he only bought the van since there is no hospital in Scott County.  

"Four trips to Oak Ridge paying in ambulance pays for the van," Cantrell said.  

Cantrell and other Scott County residents have been without a hospital for nearly 16 months.

Employees went in and out of the newly-named Pioneer Community Hospital of Scott County Tuesday, preparing the more than 50-year-old building before it opens.    

The hospital's logo has still yet to be unveiled on the building, but on the website the hospital's logo appears with a river flowing through it.

"We'd like to have a fresh color scheme that offers a new and clean start," said Morgan Dunn, vice president of business development for Pioneer Health Systems.  

Dunn says the hospital could open by December 1 or earlier. 

Scott County Mayor Jeff Tibbals thought the hospital would re-open by July.

The process has become caught up in red tape, however, leaving uncertainty for the hospital 's opening date.

"I anticipated this thing to be a long time before now, but every time there's always a snag. There's something comes up that has be done," Tibbals said. 

The county had to re-submit the purchase agreement with Pioneer to the state when the attorney general's office asked to modify the agreement and re-submit it. 

The state finally cleared the property transfer in July.

"We were 43 days into it when they asked for more information and that 45-day clock started again," Tibbals said.

In addition, there are a series of license and safety checks the hospital needs to pass before it can reopen.  

A life safety survey and licensure survey, the first set of licenses the hospital needs before moving forward, will be conducted by the state in early September.

The new hospital will also have to apply for new licenses to be an approved Medicare and Medicaid provider.

The hospital will initially operate with around 110 to 120 employees. 

The hospital will first open with an extended hours clinic, open 18 hours each day. It will ultimately expand to a full-service hospital once all the appropriate licenses are acquired.

That could be a three- to six-month wait for the hospital to transition to full-service from an extended hours clinic.

Mayor Tibbals says the closure continues to impact the county's ambulance service.  

Tibbals says the county received a grant to acquire one new ambulance, and recently received two more through the same grant. 

Those ambulances should be delivered in the next two to three months, according to Tibbals.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WATE. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.