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Crotched Mountain Foundation to shutter brain injury hospital

  • The Crotched Mountain Specialty Hospital is closing down, though the rehabilitation center as a whole will remain.

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 6/6/2017 8:09:23 PM

Citing increased competition, decreased occupancy and financial issues, the Crotched Mountain Foundation’s Board of Trustees voted Monday to close the Crotched Mountain Specialty Hospital.

David Johnson, director of marketing at Crotched Mountain, said the hospital, which focuses on neuro-rehabilitation for people with brain injuries among other conditions, is projected to cease operations by Aug. 31.

Johnson said if the board hadn’t made the decision to close the specialty hospital’s doors, it would have lost $4.8 million this year. On a whole, the foundation has had to absorb a $20 million loss because of the specialty hospital.

“And you just can’t absorb that,” Johnson said. “It’s just an unsustainable operation.”

The hospital currently serves 30 patients, who will all have to be moved elsewhere in order to receive the treatment they need.

“Our priority is to discharge outpatients safely and smoothly,” Johnson said soon after the decision was made. “And we’ll work with families, and guardians to make sure it’s as smooth as possible.”

The closure will also leave about 130 staff members in flux, according to Johnson. The foundation employs about 1,100 people, meaning the closure will affect about 12 percent of its workforce.

“This decision was not made lightly,” Michael Coughlin, president and CEO of Crotched Mountain Foundation, said in a press release.

Johnson said the foundation is required to provide impacted employees with a 60-day notice. Johnson said it’s likely some of the at-risk staff will stay employed at the center. He said it will help others brush up their resumes, and will hold job fairs on campus to help employees search for opportunities elsewhere as the closure nears.

“It’s sad and it’s tough but we want to do right by them because they were so great,” Johnson said about the impending process.

Johnson said it’s a big decision, but not one that came out of nowhere.

He said the board has been studying the financial feasibility of the specialty hospital for years. They attempted to partner with other hospitals, but those plans never materialized.

Coughlin said the foundation followed a comprehensive operational report from national consultants and an extensive examination of a number of other alternatives.

“In the end, we could not identify a sustainable financial solution nor continue to absorb the losses of the current program operation,” Coughlin said in the press release.

Johnson said other Crotched Mountain programs including the Crotched Mountain School, Crotched Mountain ATECH (assistive technology services), Crotched Mountain Community Care, Crotched Mountain Residential Services, and the outpatient clinic will not be affected by this decision.

“Just because the specialty hospital is winding down, Crotched Mountain as a whole is not closing,” Johnson said.

Abby Kessler can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 234 or akessler@ledgertranscript.com. 

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