Hospital in Florence closes, 150+ people out of work

FLORENCE, AZ - The normally busy hallways of the Florence Community Healthcare center showed little signs of life Thursday.

With little warning, the hospital abruptly shut its doors this week. The closure leaves patients, doctors and employees in the small town wondering what's next.

"There's not too many options unless going to the city, and trying to find another job in the city on top of not having any income now, it's like how do you do that for a month before you do get your first check," Quanisha White said.

White is one of 165 employees now scrambling to find new work.

"I still have my bills, I still have my food, necessities, household things to take care of so it's like a dead-end street right now," she said.

Hospital executives would not comment on the closing, but said off-camera that the hospital, opened just two years ago suffered from the same disease many other businesses suffer from in a poor economy. The closing is trickling down to other businesses.

Will Humphreys leased a space on the property for his physical therapy practice.

"I have less than a month to find, negotiate and build out a new clinic," he said.

He says the closure will force him to relocate, and impact care in the the area.

"For anything really urgent, it's a big deal. Without a doubt, the people that are suffering the most from this experience are the people of Florence," Humpreys said.

The Arizona Department of Health Services is checking to see what rules were violated by the abrupt closure.

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