OakLeaf Medical Network has reportedly reached out to HSHS, hoping to purchase the hospital properties slated to be closed.
In a news release, Chairman of the Board of OakLeaf Medical Network Dr. Kyle Dettbarn says the organization hopes to turn the properties into an independent community hospital. The announcement comes nearly two weeks after HSHS and Prevea announced that they would be closing all of their locations in the Chippewa Valley, including their hospitals in Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls.
OakLeaf is also considering purchasing all of the Prevea locations that will be closed as well. “We need to keep these hospitals running,” said Dettbarn. “We need to keep these services available for these patients because if we do not, unfortunately, what this is going to do, it’s going to cost lives. We’re putting lives at risk here.”
The closure of the locations throughout the spring will result in over 1,400 employees losing their jobs, and many area residents losing their healthcare providers. Other healthcare providers in the area have hosted job fairs over the previous two weeks as those employees begin to consider their future options. The creation of an independent community hospital would go a long way in keeping those employees working, and managing the lack of healthcare options for area residents.
HSHS and Prevea have not publicly responded to the potential negotiations as of Friday morning. Most of their locations in the Chippewa Valley are currently scheduled to be closed April 21st, and all of them by June 30th.