Tilden Community Hospital to Cease Emergency Services in July
TILDEN - The community of Tilden has enjoyed in-patient and emergency services at their city hospital for years, but dwindling patient numbers have forced city officials to make a difficult decision.
The Tilden City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to give officials at the Tilden Community Hospital permission to cease in-patient and emergency services at their facility effective July 1st. Hospital director Lon Knievel says there were a number of factors that went into making the difficult recommendation.
Knievel: "We are a very small, rural hospital. We're limited on the scope of emergencies and diagnoses that we can take care of. Our window of what we can service here in a very small, rural hospital has become shallower."
The move will mean the loss of 35 jobs at the hospital, which has been Tilden's largest employer. Residents filled the City Auditorium Tuesday in the hopes of persuading the City Council to find some other way. But Knievel says the hospital is currently only serving 1-2 patients and losing $60,000 a month, and he doesn't see that changing any time soon.
Knievel: "The board didn't want to give up. They wanted to keep fighting. But we continually had to keep going back to the facts; the data. We will not survive. We won't survive health care changes."
Knievel says the hospital board is expected to enter into negotiations for a lease agreement with Faith Regional Health Services which would allow for the facility to provide outpatient care through the TCH Medical Clinic.