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Woman’s Hospital in Mesquite to Close: Mesquite Employees Given 60 Days’ Notice; Continued Losses Cited

April 3, 2008

By Jason Roberson, The Dallas Morning News

Apr. 3–Workers at Woman’s Hospital in Mesquite were told Wednesday that it will close in 60 days because it’s losing money.

Health Management Associates Inc. of Naples, Fla., has owned Woman’s Hospital and its sister hospital, Dallas Regional Medical Center in Mesquite, since 2002.

The two campuses are 5 miles apart. As many as 200 people will no longer work for the 176-bed Woman’s Hospital, which is at 3500 Interstate 30. The other campus, a 172-bed hospital at 1011 N. Galloway, will stay open.

Health Management Associates paid $32 million last year to a minority shareholder to acquire the 20 percent equity interests it did not already own in both hospitals, according to its annual report.

During the fourth quarter, Woman’s Hospital, formerly Mesquite Community Hospital, was converted from a general acute care hospital to a specialty women’s hospital. Mesquite Community Hospital opened in 1978.

“Unfortunately, our Woman’s Hospital continues to operate at a significant financial loss that necessitates its closure,” said Roy Vinson, chief executive of the Dallas Regional Medical Center, adding later in a statement that it “was a very difficult decision to make.”

The company wouldn’t say how much money Woman’s Hospital was losing.

Paula Reisdorfer, director of business development for Dallas Regional Medical Center, could not point to specific causes of the financial losses.

“We just can’t continue operating in the red,” she said.

Mr. Vinson said he plans to invest the money that otherwise would have been spent trying to keep Woman’s Hospital open into the remaining campus.

An additional 26-bed unit of private rooms with a “brighter and more inviting atmosphere” is scheduled to open next year, he said.

Shares of Health Management, a publicly traded hospital system with $4.4 billion in 2007 revenue, closed Wednesday at $5.76, down 9 cents.

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