Rennova employee says financial struggle is impacting East TN workers and patients

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JELLICO, Tenn. (WATE) – Multiple sources connected to both Big South Fork and Jellico Medical Center confirm employee paychecks at the two rural hospitals are late, again. 

As a result, we’ve spoken to multiple employees who have either found or are actively searching for other employment. Many are hoping the company, Rennova Health, is able to overcome this latest financial hurdle and maintain both hospitals. Rennova, who we’ve reached out to but have not heard back from for this story, also owns Jamestown Regional Medical Center, which closed last June. In December, we covered efforts there to meet requirements by the state and federal governments to reopen.

David Wilkerson left his job as Medical Laboratory Manager for BSFMC 10 days ago. He was in charge of everything that went on there, including hiring and training personnel, ordering supplies, inspecting equipment, and ensuring quality testing. Before he left, he said, the lab was short on staff and supplies. We confirmed those same shortages with other employees. 

While he doesn’t know the exact cause of the company’s financial woes, he said he was told the company is working to secure a loan to make payroll. “I’m kind of passionate about how the patient is taken care of and I’m passionate about the people that work for me. If you can’t take care of them, then you can’t take care of the patient and if you’re not taking care of the patient, you’re not doing what you’re there to do,” he said.

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