LA GRANGE, Texas (KXAN) — St. Mark’s Medical Center in La Grange announced it is closing its doors and ceasing all operations Oct. 12.
A news release said the closure results from St. Mark’s “ongoing inability to meet its financial obligations.”
“Living here and living in the country is a joy,” said Fayette County resident Bill Koenig. “Virtually everything you would need has been here except for now the hospital.”
Struggles to keep St. Mark’s Medical Center running have been going on for a while, but the recent announcement to cease all operations has Koenig and others worried.
“I have heart problems,” Koenig said. “I have cancer, both liver and kidney cancer.”
He said trips to the emergency room over the years have saved his life. Now he will have to drive much further to have any procedures or for emergencies.
“It is definitely going to be a challenge for my crews,” said Josh Vandever, director of emergency medical services with Fayette County.
The closure means his crews will be transporting patients long distances.
“We have noticed increased mileage to our vehicles taking a lot more patients to other local hospitals and taking a lot more patients into Austin,” Vandever said.
“I was born and raised in La Grange and of course we are all getting older,” said Mayor Jan Dockery. ” It is not just the older citizens, but they are a top concern.”
Dockery said the impact goes beyond just patients though as many employees will not be looking for work.
“Lots of cuts to jobs,” Dockery said.
She said she is holding on to hope that someone can come in and return the much needed services, but if not she said she will fight to bring someone in.
“We are looking for whatever avenues that are there,” Dockery said.
Koenig said whoever comes in needs to explore other options that would bring money into the facility.
“To lose that hospital, it hurts,” he said.