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'We Desperately Need This Hospital': Ellwood City Medical Center Closes To Inpatient, ER Services

ELLWOOD CITY, Pa. (KDKA) - Inpatient services at the Ellwood City Medical Center are banned, not all hospital employees have received full paychecks as of Thanksgiving and now the ER has been closed by the state Department of Health.

It was dark and quiet at Ellwood City Medical Center Thursday night. A closure sign posted on the door says they're open for outpatient services but not inpatient services, and the ER is shutdown. Many are wondering if the hospital will survive.

"It's a big shock to us here in the community," says Ellwood City Mayor Anthony Court.

The day before Thanksgiving, that shocking news resulted in a ban on services at Ellwood City Medical Center.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health imposed closures after a visit to the facility this week found "serious violations" to the state Health Care Facilities Act.

Effective immediately, the Health Department suspended admissions to the facility and the emergency room was closed.

"Our main concern and my main concern right now is for the patients and the employees of the Ellwood City Medical Center," says Mayor Court.

"And the employees who are so dedicated to the medical center, some of them working and not being paid in a timely fashion, it's a major concern to us here in our community. We desperately need this hospital to prosper."

Sources tell KDKA News a failed CT scanner in the ER was the reason for those "serious violations."

These violations and closure are a big community concern because the next closest hospital is thirty miles away.

"We have a lot of elderly residents here. It would be devastating to them, and our community as far as employees also," says Mayor Court.

In addition, as of Thanksgiving, the hospital's staff hasn't received full paychecks and it's not the first time. Last holiday season, the same thing resulted in a criminal investigation. The medical center is privately owned by Florida-based Americore Health.

"Every minute that it's not in proper use seems like forever," says Mayor Court.

The city says the troubled hospital also owes them $250,000 in unpaid electric bills and almost $100,000 in unpaid property taxes.

They're trying to work with the hospital's owner so the medical center doesn't shut down completely.

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