Another Local Hospital May Shut its Doors

By: Hermelinda Vargas
By: Hermelinda Vargas

Another small Panhandle hospital is in turmoil and it's not Gulf Pines in Port St. Joe. The Campbellton-Graceville Hospital is in such bad financial shape it's in danger of closing.

A former hospital board member is blaming current management for the problems.

Pam Rimes recently resigned from the Campbellton-Graceville Hospital's board of directors, but she says she's not giving up on the hospital itself. She wants Gov. Bush to consider a petition she started and remove the hospital's interim administrator and all but one of the remaining board members.

"Our hope is that the governor will step in and will take a serious look at what's taking place at our hospital and will take action to remedy some of this and to bring in an audit. Let's have some one come in and have a good sound look and let's remove those members who are not looking out for the best interest of our community."

Rimes isn't alone in her efforts. Several former doctors say they left the hospital because of its problems and its leadership.

The three board members targeted by Rime's petition were not available for an on-camera interview Thursday, but the hospital's interim administrator, also targeted by the petition, says Rimes is making a personal issue out of past disagreements with board members.

"There's a conflicting interests and I think they have different opinions and I think a lot of the questions that came up concerning the conflict came up while Mrs. Rimes was on the board," says hospital administrator Tom Meadows.

The Campbellton-Graceville Hospital has room for about 25 patients, but Thursday it's only serving four patients and Wednesday it was only serving one.

Administrator Tom Meadows says the low number of patients may mean the hospital can close as early as August.

Hospital administrators say a major reason for their poor financial condition is because the hospital has lost state and federal funding, but Rimes and her supporters blame bad management for the losses.


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