Some promising news was announced Monday night at a rally outside the shuttered Cheboygan Memorial Hospital, which gave a crowd of nearly 2,000 community members hope for the time being.
Reezie Devet, CEO of McLaren Northern Michigan in Petoskey, addressed the crowd, saying an administration resolution has been worked out between the Centers of Medicare & Medicaid Services and McLaren Health System that would allow Cheboygan Memorial Hospital to reopen its emergency room, ambulatory services, and outpatient departments.
McLaren still has to work with other interested parties and creditors to get them to agree to the terms of sale before anything will move forward, however officials say that they hope to reopen the hospital as soon as possible.
But some community members are still trying to make sense of the widespread impact that followed the closure.
Linda Clarkowski worked at CMH for more than 30 years and says, "My heart just sank not only for what was going to happen to me but my patients. I'm very scared, I have a child in college and I still need to work, 'm still young!"
Bud Darnell, President of the Cheboygan Economic Development Group says, "This hospital is one of the largest employers in all of Cheboygan County -- almost 400 jobs -- that's a significant thing for us, to throw that number on the market. Our school systems are concerned about the nurses and doctors that may have to leave and take their kids with them.â??