Cheboygan Memorial Hospital closes long-term care facility

The future of Cheboygan Memorial Hospital appears cloudy tonight as word comes that it will shut down its long-term care unit.

Hospital officials tell 7&4 News they had no other choice. Money has dried up and their bankruptcy process is at a stand-still, meaning something had to be done immediately.

We have more on what this closure means, where the patients will go, and the job loss impact it'll have on the community.

Both employees and patient's families told me it's a hard pill to swallow right now. They learned today that the long-term care unit is going to close because the money is just not there.

"Some people have anger, some people started to cry, I think we all just feel disappointed and lost," says Nancy Gagnon, whoâ??s mother is being cared for.

Behind closed doors today, patients, their families, and long-term care unit employees learned effective immediately, the unit inside Larson Hall is closing.

"Kind of thought this was going to happen, but until you hear it, and it's definite, it's just a shock," says long-term care unit nurse Pam Demuth.

Hospital officials say the decision was made because they haven't been able to reach a deal with Medicare and Medicaid for funding. 41 patients will have to be relocated. Hard-hitting news for Nancy Gagnon, who recently retired from the hospital after 37 years and whose mother is being cared for.

â??Chose this one as the best choice, and now a month later, we have to do it all over again, and put her through it all again, she just got to the point where she was accepting the routine," says Gagnon.

The hospital had help from state officials as they made their announcement. The state will help relocate the residents over the next 11 days. About 50 staff members will be looking for a job.

â??It's like family, it's a really neat place," says Demuth.

Some employees who talked to me who work in other wings of the hospital told me right now, it's a really rough stretch inside because of Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. The employees say there are a lot of unknowns, they have to call to make sure they need to come into work, in some cases, they're being sent home during the work day, and the questions continue as to whether they'll have a job.

The fate of Cheboygan Memorial Hospital rests with a bankruptcy judge at a hearing scheduled for Thursday afternoon in Bay City.

If the judge approves the sale, the hospital will become part of McLaren Health Care System.