Cochise Regional Hospital recently became another victim to what is happening more and more to rural hospitals cross the United States.
Shortly after 7 p.m. Friday, our hospital officially closed its doors ending over 100 years of service to Douglas and its surrounding communities.
They become the 55th hospital to close since 2010, all because of Medicare restrictions.
While we are sad and disappointed our hospital could not stay open the closure does not really come as a surprise however as the facility has had both financial and managerial issues the last several years including two bankruptcies and at least three different CEO’s.
It’s also very unfortunate to the 70 plus employees who lost their jobs at CRH and were informed at a closed door meeting Tuesday they would only be paid a portion of what they were owed by the hospital.
The Douglas Dispatch was recently contacted by a out of state hospital who will be taking out an ad in an upcoming issue of our paper looking to hire some of those who were recently laid off which could end up being a good thing providing they are willing to relocate.
Earlier this year the latest CRH management team met with members of the public as well as the media and showed the latest changes being made all in an effort to save the hospital and keep it operating.
Apparently those changes were not enough however as the facility continued to struggle financially and in March learned they would be losing some badly needed funding they were going to need if they had any hope of remaining open.
Fortunately our city leaders felt the need to have a “backup” plan just in case and they, along with Jim Dickson at Copper Queen Medical, began to put a plan in place. We just didn’t expect it to be put into action so quickly.
While Douglas may not have a 24-hour emergency room at the moment there is a 12-hour Quick Care that opened this past Monday on Fifth Street and is quite capable of handling most of the cases that will come through its doors. What they can’t handle will be treated and prepped before being moved out either to Bisbee or another hospital better able to handle the present situation.
We applaud our city leaders and Mr. Dickson for moving so quickly with this plan to be ready when CRH closed and to have the staff capable to handle the extra patients that would be coming their way.
Dickson and Copper Queen Medical are also looking into the possibility of building an emergency room in Douglas but a study that will take place in the next 30-45 days to determine what, if anything, takes place.
We can only hope this comes to fruition.
Where one door closes, another one seems to open.