In a Monday, April 23, 2012 pho[auth] to, Lisa Craig Brisson speaks during a community rally at Cheboygan Memorial Hospital in Cheboygan, Mich. A crowd estimated at 2,500 attended the rally in response to the hospital being closed unexpectedly on April 3 after a sale to McLaren Healthcare Corp. fell through. (AP Photo/Petoskey News-Review, Jerry Pond)
CHEBOYGAN, Mich. (AP) — The sale of the recently closed Cheboygan Memorial Hospital is expected to take place Tuesday, clearing the way for the northern Michigan medical center to resume operations, a lawyer for the hospital says.
Hearings Monday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Bay City removed impediments to the sale of the hospital to Flint-based McLaren Health Care Corp., Shawn M. Riley told The Associated Press by phone Monday night.
“The sale is supposed to close tomorrow,” Riley said. He said it should happen in the morning.
The hearings before Judge Daniel Opperman dealt with several parties involved in the bankruptcy case.
The planned sale of the hospital fell through four weeks ago because of problems in getting needed federal regulatory approval.
The hospital was Charlevoix County’s largest employer with about 400 workers. It’s unknown how many people will be rehired. While the emergency room and clinics are expected to reopen, no plan is in place to fully restore other inpatient care.
The hospital announced March 1 that it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after losing more than $7 million last year. It closed unexpectedly April 3 after a $5 million sale to McLaren fell through over licensing issues for Medicare and Medicaid services.
A community coalition organized a rally outside the hospital April 23 that drew about 2,500 residents, business leaders, nurses and other employees to support the reopening of the hospital, which served the area for seven decades.
Those at the rally cheered when McLaren executive Reezie Devet told them McLaren had just reached a deal with U.S. officials and hoped to complete the purchase soon.
No reopening date has been set, but those involved in the process say they are hopeful it will happen within the month.
Julie Teicher, an attorney for McLaren, has said the hospital might reopen in the early part of May. Shela Khan-Monroe, a lawyer for the Michigan Nurses Association, has said mid-May is more realistic.
McLaren already has rehired about 50 people to work at clinics at the hospital’s sites in Cheboygan, Pellston and Petoskey, according to the Cheboygan Daily Tribune.