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2010-12-09 digital edition

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2010-12-09 / Front Page

Two Area Hospitals Affected by Management Group’s Decisions

Rockdale’s Richard Memorial (Little River) Hospital and Lakeside Hospital in Bastrop, both operated and/or owned by Blackhawk Healthcare, were greatly affected by recent action taken by Blackhawk in the last few weeks.

On November 19, 2010, employees at Lakeside Hospital in Bastrop arrived to work to find the doors locked and a sign posted for patients.

On Monday, November 22, Richards Memorial employees learned Blackhawk Healthcare sold to Kevin Owens and the four-member Blackhawk leadership team resigned.

Richards Memorial is unsure of how this will affect their operation, but they are in a different position than Lakeside because they are still maintained as a Hospital District that owns their own property.

Carl Hudson, Chairman of the Board of Rockdale’s Hospital District, met with Blackhawk’s new owner, Kevin Owens, earlier this month. Hudson believes there are no plans to close Richards Memorial.

Rockdale suffered layoffs in July of this year when Blackhawk eliminated 30 to 40 jobs in the Richards Memorial Hospital workforce. A number of physicians have also been let go in recent weeks, which has brought more concern to the community about their hospital.

More than 90 employees of the Bastrop Hospital are pursuing a class-action lawsuit against Blackhawk for the lack of notice on the hospital closure.

Blackhawk, which was founded in 2003 and is headquartered in Austin, acquired its first hospital in Oklahoma in 2005. They purchased the Rockdale hospital operations in 2006 and the Bastrop hospital in July 2009.

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