Hospital corporation bankruptcy proceedings begin in Houston

Item File PhotoThe Walker County Hospital District is expected to take over operations at Huntsville Memorial Hospital in a partnership with Community Hospitals Corporation.

How will the Walker County Hospital District board react to a recent Chapter 11 filing from its tenant — the Walker County Hospital Corporation?

District board members will convene in its monthly meeting tonight with options for comments from the public and from Huntsville Memorial Hospital CEO Steve Smith, just two days after a bankruptcy filing was officially announced by the hospital corporation, the operator of the facility.

Tonight’s meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. in the 6th floor conference room of the First National Bank building, located at 1300 11th Street in Huntsville.

The hospital corporation’s bankruptcy protection was filed Monday morning in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code.

The decision came at the end of a year-long journey by the Walker County Hospital District Board to explore options for the future of the hospital. Walker County Hospital Corporation began a process in September 2018 to identify a potential strategic partner to better position HMH to provide quality, local healthcare long into the future.

District chairman Anne Woodard was given authority by the district board last week to execute an agreement with Community Hospital Corporation, a Plano-based health care management group.

“A number of highly-respected health systems formally indicated interest in exploring a future with HMH, and we were pleased that the district board signed an LOI with CHC,” hospital corporation chairman Mac Woodward said in a release. “After much deliberation and discussion, our financial advisors counseled us that Chapter 11 was necessary to enable a successful partnership with CHC or another strategic partner.”

Other items on tonight’s agenda includes administering the oath of office to newly elected board member Joe Sapp and re-elected member Judy Emmett. The board will also elect officers for the board of managers.