Jobs And Services Are At Stake At Graham's Hospital - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Jobs And Services Are At Stake At Graham's Hospital

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Around 250 jobs and medical services are at stake at Graham Regional Medical Center.

"We've operated almost 100 years until we've gotten to the point where we just don't feel like we can continue to keep the hospital going without the support of taxpayer money," said Neal Blanton, a member of the GRMC's board of directors.

Blanton said over the last three years there's been a decline in the financial assistance the federal government provides to rural hospitals. Last year it lost $700,000 in funds and even though the hospital has already cut back $2 million in expenses, this year they're dealing with another big blow.

"This year so far, even through our best efforts at reducing expenses we're down about $1.2 million," said Blanton.

That's why hospital officials want to create a Graham Hospital District. If a district is created, that means Young County residents who don't live within the Olney Hospital District would have to pay no more than 75 cents on each $100 of property valuation. Voters will decide if they want to pay that to help fund the hospital in an election tomorrow and some residents aren't happy.

"The taxes would go up and I don't want the property taxes on my mom's house to go up. With the way things are right now that's pretty high," said a Graham resident.

But Blanton said, "If you didn't have the ability to tax I think you will see the services that are provided by the hospital decline."

Services like surgeries and baby deliveries might have to be cut back. Or even worse, the hospital might have to shut down. That's something that Blanton said would devastate the town's economy.

"It has $9 million in salaries to its employees and those employees pay property taxes, they donate to the churches and to charitable organizations," said Blanton.

The polls will be open tomorrow from 7 a.m-7p.m at the First United Methodist Church.


Tanya De Jesus, Newschannel 6