Hospital leaders said negotiations failed to keep Pioneer Community Hospital of Scott open, and now the community's only hospital will close as originally scheduled on July 1.
Leaders tried to negotiate with an unnamed firm that was interested in buying the hospital from Mississippi-based Pioneer Health Services.
At 4 p.m. Friday, CEO Tony Taylor said those negotiations fell through, which will force the hospital to close later at 7 p.m.
"There's no where to go from here," Taylor said. "Keep us in your prayers."
Taylor said he notified the state about the closure.
"It's heartbreaking. It's very emotional," Olivia Shannon, now a former registered clerk at the hospital, said. "Too many families in this community depend on this hospital."
Shannon said employees had high hopes for continued service just the day before.
"They gave everything they've got," she said. "Everybody we work for in every department, if you called them and asked them to come in early, come in late, do what we need to do to make this hospital strong, we done it with no quorums."
Shannon's dedication to the hospital starts when she was born there. She's endured both closures at the facility, but she's even more worried about the well being of those who may suffer a health emergency in the near future.
"That means now they get to drive an hour either way they go," she said. "They have LaFollette, which is in Campbell County. You have Fentress County with Jamestown Regional then you have Methodist in Oak Ridge."
The closest emergency room to Scott County is Jamestown Regional Medical Center, which is 39 miles away and a 50-minute drive.
She said her own health emergency five years ago proves the area needs a hospital in town.
"2011, I had a full blown heart attack," she saidl. "Well, guess what. This lady wouldn't be standing here if it hadn't been for the ER department in this hospital. I am walking proof of what can happen here."
This development brings a close to the uncertainty surrounding the hospital, which failed to convince the state to delay its closure indefinitely.
"We'll do what it takes to help get a company in here and to make it go," Shannon said. "The Lord ain't gonna let this close for long."
If the hospital cannot find a buyer immediately, its license will go inactive. Taylor said another company could still reopen the hospital after it closes if it wanted to.
Just one day before the Pioneer Community Hospital of Scott was set to close, hospital leaders announced it would be staying open for now.
CEO Tony Taylor told 10News on Thursday afternoon that the hospital will remain open as active negotiations continue to try and sell it to a new company.
Taylor said he could not say which company is involved in the negotiations. He said the hospital sent a letter to the state notifying them of plans to stay open.
The parent company of the hospital, Pioneer Health Services, Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on March 30.
The Pioneer Community Hospital of Scott has closed before. The hospital, then Saint Mary’s, closed back in May 2012 when the contract to operate the facility ran out.
The county couldn't reach an agreement with the former operator Health Management Associates. The county then made a deal with a company called S.M. Promen to reopen the hospital not long after the closure.
The deal fell through when Promen couldn't raise the necessary funds to operate the hospital, bringing the county back to 'square one.'
In December 2013, it reopened as Pioneer, complete with new equipment and updates. However, the fresh look isn’t lasting, as history once more is repeating itself.
Earlier this week, the hospital announced its emergency room had been placed on a state of diversion.