Campbellton-Graceville Hospital Asks for Help

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GRACEVILLE The new interim administrator of the Campbellton-Graceville Hospital is asking the state legislature for help with nearly $1 million of debt.

Vanessa McCroan took the position on March 10, four days after Jimmy Rigsby abruptly resigned.

McCroan's first priority is securing a line of credit that could put the hospital back on its feet.

As CEO of Graceville's largest local bank, Don Graham takes pride in two things, his bank and the Campbellton-Graceville Hospital.

Graham just completed a stay there for post-surgical phlebitis in his leg.

"If you rang the bell for them, it took them about three minutes to get to you," he said. "Now you check that out at a major hospital."

Like many other community members, Graham is now concerned about the hospital's future.

The facility is $500,000 in debt.

And the hospital's new interim administrator Vanessa McCroan has to find a way to pay-back $427,000 back to Medicare.

"We face multiple layers of problems," she said.

Medicare over-paid the hospital and now wants the money back within 12 months.

McCroan is trying to negotiate a 34 month deal.

She's re-evaluating the budget, negotiating with banks, and working with state lawmakers.

"I think this week we'll be finishing with Marti Coley and a couple of others," she said.

McCroan is also reducing employee work hours to avoid any full time employee lay-offs.

She's even taking on extra duties without a pay increase.

"It's not about me. It's about the hospital," McCroan said,

"A lot of the community here are older people, they are in their 80's and 90's, and they just can't run off somewhere to a major hospital just because they don't have access here," Graham said.

McCroan said she doesn't want the administrators job permanently.

She's hoping to hear from Medicare about the extension request within the next ten days.