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Tyrone Hospital looks at options to save facility, talks with Altoona Regional continue

In a meeting Monday evening that was closed to the media and general public, the Tyrone Hospital Board and Administration presented information on a proposed affiliation with Altoona Regional Health System to its corporate membership.
The affiliation between Tyrone Hospital and Altoona was first discussed at a previous meeting that was open to the media and general public last winter, with a number of corporate members and members of the general public questioning how much control the hospital would have if there is an affiliation with another health system, and overall had somewhat of a luke warm response from the corporate membership.
As far as how much control Tyrone Hospital would have if an affiliation were to take place, that has not yet been determined. However, Tyrone Hospital officials stated that talks with Altoona Regional are going well.
According to Tyrone Hospital Chief Executive Officer Walter Van Dyke, Tyrone Hospital officials and the community need to look at what is going to ensure that a hospital stays open in Tyrone.
“We need to look at what it’s going to take to have a hospital in Tyrone,” Van Dyke said. “We need to do what’s in the best interest of the community.”
According to Van Dyke, an affiliation with Altoona Regional Health System would be investing approximately $10 million into Tyrone Hospital. Altoona would provide initial operating cash to Tyrone Hospital, along with renovating patient rooms and adding two operating rooms.
However, a deal between Tyrone Hospital and Altoona Regional to begin an affiliation does require approval with United States Bankruptcy Court Judge Bernard Markovitz and all of Tyrone Hospital’s creditors.
Tyrone Hospital will have to submit plans for reorganization by July 15. This is a requirement of Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The original deadline was last winter and Tyrone Hospital was granted an extension by the courts.
If the U.S. Bankruptcy Court rejects the plans that Tyrone Hospital officials submit, the hospital will risk moving into Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This would force the hospital to close its doors and sell all of its assets.
Corporate membership has been looking at alternative plans. Membership has sought assistance on this issue from a consultant that has worked for Tyrone Hospital in the past.