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Top story of 2007: Tyrone Hospital creates reorganization plan

(Editor’s note: Today continues The Daily Herald’s annual series of top local stories for the year.)
Tyrone Hospital filed a reorganization plan in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in August of 2007.
The hospital has been dealing with the Chapter 11 Bankruptcy issue for over a year and has been dealing with financial woes since 2001.
After the hospital decided to seek relief under Chapter 11, the first option was to develop an alliance with a larger health system. This was met with resistance by a number of corporate members due to the possibility they would lose control of the hospital.
Tyrone Hospital officials had numerous talks with Altoona Regional Health System on a possible alliance with that facility. This seemed to be the direction the Tyrone Hospital Board and Administration was headed until talks with Altoona Regional concluded, and a July 25, 2007 statement was released by Altoona Regional officials. At that point, Altoona Regional CEO Jim Barner stated that their facility would not pursue any further alliance options with Tyrone Hospital.
After the failed alliance, Tyrone Hospital officials moved on. According to the hospital’s bankruptcy plan, the hospital will be making substantial payments to its 250 creditors that will last until the year 2013. Payment plans to the various creditors will include some of the payments with interest and some without interest. There are 13 different classes of creditors listed.
Tyrone Hospital started the plan with close to $1 million in cash. The hospital will also raise prices by 2 percentage points each year during this time period. Another aspect of this plan is to attempt to increase patient volume. In order to do this, the hospital will have to attempt to have the number of inpatients increase from the current figures of 1,132 per year to at least 1,571 per year when the six year period ends.
Also in August of 2007, the Tyrone Hospital Board of Directors met for its reorganization meeting.
A crowd of community members and past/present Tyrone Hospital employees were on hand for the restructuring of the 14-member board of directors, in which five vacant seats were to be filled.
The newly elected board members included: Luis Jourdain, M.D., Heather Baumgarten, Carrie Maceno, Sarah DelBaggio and Paulette Davis.
Hospital CEO Walter S. Van Dyke stressed at the meeting, “We’ve cut costs and we believe the hospital’s being managed as efficiently as possible. Our issue revolves around revenue. We don’t have enough revenue, we don’t have enough patients, we don’t have enough people coming and using the lab, the X-Ray, and things of that nature.
“So, it’s very important for our medical staff to bring the patients to the hospital, and that’s what we need to do.”