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Tough times forcing Charlton Memorial hospital in Folkston, Georgia, to close

4:55 PM, Aug 26, 2013   |    comments
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FOLKSTON, Ga. --  A hospital that has four decades of service in Folkston is entering its last week of caring for residents in Southeast Georgia and parts of Northeast Florida.

Charlton Memorial following a vote by the hospital board is preparing to suspend medical services starting this Friday, August 30.

A sign on the front door of the 25 bed nonprofit hospital tells visitors that "financial instability" is behind the decision.

"Tons of old debt approaching $6 million...and we've struggled to keep up with current obligations," said H.D. Cannington explains why the medical facility is  financially troubled.

Cannington said efforts are still being made to find options to keep the facility open that employees more than 100 people. 

Some employees will be kept on staff since former patients need access to medical records.

"People come through the doors every day and tell me how this place has saved their lives," said Crystal Willis who works near the front door in admissions.

"Some of them are saying going to have to move from Folkston because they have to have a hospital," said Willis who has been employed at Charlton Memorial for four years.

A community petition drive this summer netted hundreds of signatures from Charlton County residents who wanted the county commission to step in and help.

So far that has not happened.

Unless something happens this week a hospital that has served Folkston for decades will only offer limited medical services, but will not open to assist people who require overnight or extended care.      

First Coast News

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