Houston hospital closing its doors

June 23, 2008 4:28:41 PM PDT
There was a surprise for hundreds of patients and employees after the announcement that two campuses of the River Oaks Hospital would be shutdown. The closure is effective immediately.At River Oaks Hospital on Monday ambulances arrived not to drop off patients, but rather to pick them up. The signs on the doors the first clue, many learned of the hospital's eventual closure, both at the location on Twelve Oaks Drive and another off Bellaire Boulevard.

Patient Bobby Harper, "I think it's pretty sad because a lot of people count on this place there aren't a whole lot in this area."

A spokesperson for Hospital Partners of America said its board chose to close the hospital because it was not making money. More than 500 employees at the hospitals two campuses were left without a job.

"We weren't totally surprised, but in the end a lot of us were heartbroken that it came down to this," said employee LeRoy Love.

The hospital did pay employees for their accrued paid time off. It also gave them a severance package to the tune of about $1,200.

Hospital spokesperson Fritz Guthrie said, "We have given them all the information to continue once they're through with their patient care here and we're providing job fairs for them and opportunities for them to talk to hospitals in the area."

As for the patients, today the hospital began removing about 100 patients to other facilities. Each of their physicians needed to sign off before anyone was transferred.

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