PRINCETON — Gibson General Hospital is closing its long term care and skilled care nursing facility June 30, the hospital reported Thursday.

The announcement was made public after families of patients were notified, GGH marketing and public relations spokesman Jeff Jones confirmed Thursday morning.

According to the announcement, the move comes after the completion of the most recent community health needs assessment and an in-depth market analysis confirming that long term care services are adequately available, and no longer a pressing community need.

The closure of the 45-bed unit, located on the hospital’s fifth floor since 1969, will effectively strengthen the four remaining long term care facilities in the county by reducing unnecessary competition and allow Gibson General Hospital to focus more intently on core business and on meeting the identified health needs within the community, the hospital reported in the news release.

“This decision did not come easily, as it impacts our Skilled Nursing Facility residents, their families and our employees,” said Claudia Eisenmann, president & CEO of Gibson General Hospital. “At the same time, we believe our residents and those in need of long term and skilled nursing care will be in great hands in those facilities whose sole purpose is to serve the needs of older or disabled individuals.”

Over the next 90 days, Gibson General Hospital will work with residents and their families to achieve a successful transition to a long term care facility of their choice. 

Jones confirmed that the closure affects 37 current residents at the facility, as well as 29 full and part-time employees and 13 on-call personnel. "The staff does a great job. It was definitely a very tough decision," he said Thursday. He said some of the skilled nursing unit staff may be offered other positions at the hospital, and the hospital has a severance package for those who are not offered other positions.

RiverOaks Health Campus in Princeton, The Waters of Princeton, Good Samaritan Home in Oakland City and Transcendent Healthcare in Owensville offer skilled nursing and long-term care services. "We're actually the smallest facility," Jones said.

Jones said he had no information about any immediate plans for use of the fifth floor at the hospital.

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