January 29, 2024
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Patrick County Response to Foresight Health COO
STUART, VA—Earlier today Joseph Hylak-Reinholtz, Foresight Health’s COO, sent out a release in response to Patrick County’s Board of Supervisors statement last week that the former community hospital will not be reopening as planned.
This release put out by Hylak-Reinholtz completely contradicts conversations recently had between Dr. Sameer Suhail, Foresight Health’s CEO, and Patrick County Administration.
As reported by The Enterprise [Stuart] on January 24, 2024, Foresight Health currently owes $33,101.12 in real estate taxes to Patrick County and $526.12 in past-due utilities and $7,980.54 in unpaid property taxes to the Town of Stuart. Requests for Foresight to remove the “Opening 2023” signs have gone unanswered and even though Hylak-Reinholtz claims that “several plans” have been developed none of them have been presented to Patrick County.
Beth Simms, Patrick County Administrator, clarified, “If Foresight had requested assistance to facilitate their reopening of the hospital in Patrick County, as suggested by Mr. Hylak-Reinholtz's statement, we would have promptly responded. However, no such requests were ever made.”
Patrick County elected officials and staff have been inundated with questions about the status of the hospital project for months, and we stand behind the statement made and released last week, providing answers to our citizens and assurance that we are working diligently to increase healthcare access in Patrick County.
Patrick County Board of Supervisors Chairman Brandon Simmons responded to Hylak-Reinholtz’s release stating that, “Patrick County remains open to conversations with Foresight Health about future plans for their property located in Stuart, and/or remedying their outstanding financial obligations.”
January 23, 2024
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Planned Reopening of Patrick County Hospital Nixed
STUART, VA—Following months of speculation, Patrick County officials recently learned that its former hospital in Stuart will not reopen as planned. The County had received assurances that Foresight Health group, which purchased the facility in 2022, would be remodeling and reopening the facility by December 2023.
No reason was given by Foresight for the change of plans. “We are disappointed that the promises made to Patrick County leaders and citizens by this company will not be fulfilled,” said Patrick County Board of Supervisors Chairman Brandon Simmons. Simmons said speculation that the hospital would not reopen at all had been circulating for months. Simmons said “There is not currently any additional information to share about the future use of the property located at 18688 Jeb Stuart Highway.”
Like many rural communities who lose their hospitals, Patrick County’s Pioneer Hospital closed in 2017. Health care access was the top identified need in a 2019 community health needs assessment and improvement plan led by the Virginia Department of Health (West Piedmont district). Simmons said a Healthcare Access Committee was formed immediately after receiving confirmation that Foresight was not proceeding with its planned renovation and reopening.
Beth Simms, Patrick County’s Administrator only since October 2023, said the goal of the committee is to provide leaders and stakeholders with the ability to collectively approach legitimate health care providers about what healthcare services are feasible in Patrick County. Mobile integrated healthcare solutions already are being developed in the county, she said. The model uses medical mobile units to deliver healthcare out into the community.
Supporting these efforts is the existing Healthy Patrick County, a coalition of healthcare, educational and economic development resources, and individuals who in December concluded a new health needs analysis in Patrick County.
Healthy Patrick County once again has identified access to healthcare as the top concern and is studying best practices to address the access issue. “Now that we have confirmation that Foresight will not be opening a hospital in Patrick County, we can seek partnerships with other healthcare providers and look at home grown solutions,” Simmons said.