WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. -- More than 400 employees at Crittenden Regional Hospital are scrambling to find a new job.
Many workers said they just found out the hospital is shutting down.
With just about one week to find jobs, employees told WREG they don't know how they're going to pay their bills.
People who work at the hospital were to afraid to talk to WREG on camera because they were scared they would get fired.
Hospital staff once had smiles on their faces, but Tuesday, you only saw the worries.
Many spent their time at Crittenden Regional helping others, but they'll be the ones in need next month.
"I was just devastated because I have so many friends that work over there," Brenda McGruder said.
McGruder said her friends who work at the hospital were caught off guard to learn Crittenden Regional is closing September 7.
"I don't know because a lot of them come from places, not only West Memphis and Marion, but from out of town," McGruder said.
Hospital leadership is trying to ease the pain by hosting an on-site job fair Wednesday between noon and 4:30 p.m. Employers include everyone from Baptist Hospital to Regional One Health. Gaming and food service industries will also be on site to offer jobs. (a full list of employers can be found at the bottom of this article)
"I'm hoping and praying everyone finds a job," McGruder said.
The hospital blamed years of debt and two crippling fires for their shut down. Leadership at Crittenden Regional also said a sales tax, recently approved by voters, was not enough to help dig them out of the hole.
Employees and people who live near the hospital will have to find someplace else to go.
"My heart is just with all of them because I know it's a sad time," McGruder said.
Physicians at the hospital met Tuesday between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to explore any options of keeping their practices going.
JOB FAIR DETAILS:
When: Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Where: Crittenden Hospital, Schoettle Center Atrium
200 Tyler Ave in West Memphis, Arkansas
Time: 12:00 – 2:00 – EVS, Access Facilitators, ED Register, Surg/OR techs, Office support
2:00 – 4:30 – Unit Coord, CNA, RN, APNs, Resp, Rehab, Lab, Dietitian, Radiology, Leaders, Business/Accounting Social Workers
Participating employers include:
- St. Bernard Medical Center
- Tenet/St. Francis (Park/Bartlett)
- Office Team
- OR Inc.
- Bright Star
- Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare
- Regional One Health
- Helena Regional Medicine
- Christ Community Health Services
- Southland Greyhound Park & Gaming
- Morrison Food Services
- Governor’s Dislocated Worker Task Force
- Legacy Hospice
- Three Rivers Health Care
- Arkansas Workforce