Group Calling For Investigation Into Pauls Valley Hospital Closure
PAULS VALLEY, Oklahoma - More than a month after the hospital in Pauls Valley was shut down a group is calling for an investigation.
They're launching a petition drive January in a town hall style meeting.
Spearheading the petition is Skip Mitchell a former patient at Pauls Valley Hospital. He says since the hospitals closure, the city has done little to explain what happened.
“We think it’s been severe mismanagement, we think they were so desperate to save the hospital that they basically took some hail mary passes that didn’t work and they got in so deep they couldn’t stop,” said Mitchell. “We have a $7 million dollar debt that most people in Pauls Valley don’t realize that they owe, on top of the 1.4 million that they owe to former management group Newlight, on top of what is owed to the OK Health Care Authority for Medicaid fees.”
Mitchell said it begs a question that has yet to be answered.
“What has happened in Pauls Valley?” said Mitchell, “What caused us to lose our hospital?”
Mitchell says while he's asked to look at the numbers, and requested public information, he's gotten little cooperation from the city.
“We’ve asked for audits of equipment and supplies from the hospital once it was closed, we got no response,” said Mitchell.
He's now hoping a grand jury will get the answers he says many locals are too afraid to ask.
“They need to explain what happened to the money, but real point blank what I’m hearing, we are having people reach out that are scared to be heard because we have some prominent people on the council , I don’t live here that doesn’t worry me,” said Mitchell.
He's not afraid to push and will continue to until someone is held accountable.
“If they are honorable people, resign. Do the right thing, admit we made a mistake, step down, lick your wounds and go on,” said Mitchell.
According to Pauls Valley City Mayor Gary Alfred, the hospital board comprised of council members, simply acted under the advice of two health management groups.