Texarkana hospital forced to shut down

By Jan Morgan - email

TEXARKANA, AR (KSLA) - A Texarkana hospital has closed its doors, forcing patients to seek help elsewhere and leaving a number of people without a job.

Living Hope helps people with mental health issues and drug and alcohol addictions.

A press release from the hospital president says Northern Health Care Capital, a New York-based finance company, will no longer finance operations here due to a contract negotiation breakdown. As a result, Living Hope was forced to cease operations immediately and close its doors indefinitely.

The news came as a shock to employees who could be seen leaving with all their belongings.

"A memo was sent out today, and, you know, it's effective now. (There was) no warning," said employee Stephanie Price.

Another employee, Susan Parker, said, "They really didn't tell us to come in tomorrow or anything, just (the) hospital's closing indefinitely."

Living Hope officials declined to comment on the situation, but court documents show Living Hope filed bankruptcy in 2006. Other documents show Pinewood Enterprises filed an injunction against Living Hope, claiming the hospital owed them $1.3M.

Some of the patients here were transported to other facilities while family members picked others up.

Living Hope has not officially released employment information, but sources tell us it's close to 200 people.