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Springfield Hospital Plans To Declare Bankruptcy

Howard Weiss-Tisman
Springfield Medical Care Systems Interim CEO Josh Dufresne speaks at public information session in Springfield.

Springfield Hospital is likely to declare bankruptcy in the next month or so, interim CEO Mike Halstead said Wednesday.The hospital has scheduled a series of information sessions around the region to update the public on the status of the organization, and at a meeting in Springfield Wednesday Halstead said a Chapter 11 bankruptcy declaration was imminent.

“The filing of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy is probably what we’ve got to do to adjust and restructure our financial world so that we can survive going into the future,” Halstead told the crowd of about 40 people.

Springfield Hospital lost about $14 million over the past two years.

The organization closed its childbirth center, laid off almost 30 staff members and made changes to its emergency department to save money.

Halstead said the health care organization would still likely lose up to $3 million this year. He said the board will probably begin the bankruptcy proceedings soon to begin restructuring  its finances.

Halstead said the bankruptcy process will also require Springfield Hospital to come up with a long range plan toward sustainability which he says will most likely mean having another health care system take over the business.

“We need to find a partner who’s got a little bit more resources than what we have,” he said. “As a stand alone hospital as Springfield Hospital and Medical Systems have been for the last 105 years; not in the cards for the future.”

He said Springfield is talking with Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

But he made it clear that a deal has not been finalized, and that there are other medical systems that could potentially take over Springfield’s business.

Halstead said the board and administration is trying to keep the hospital open in Springfield and he asked the audience to continue using the services.

“There’s a part for all of you to play in the future of your hospital,” Halstead said. “You need to support the hospital. Seek us out when you need health care. Come to our facility because if you don’t use the hospital when you need health care, you’re going to lose the hospital. And I don’t think any community wants to lose their hospital.”

Howard Weiss-Tisman is Vermont Public’s southern Vermont reporter, but sometimes the story takes him to other parts of the state. 
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