Bucktail Medical Center

Bucktail Medical Center Announces Planned Closure of Long-Term Care Facility

Bucktail Medical Center announced today that it will be closing its long-term care facility, effective May 14, 2024.

“It is with great regret that we have reached this very difficult and painful decision,” said John Lugg, President of the Board of Directors. “We will do everything we can to care for our community and provide support for our long-term care residents and staff through this transition.”

Like many rural hospitals nationwide, Bucktail Medical Center has been grappling with challenging fiscal issues over the past decade. Faced with overwhelming and ongoing revenue shortfalls associated with operating the long-term care facility, Bucktail’s leadership explored a number of possible options with elected officials and other health care providers to chart the best path forward. Preserving access to vital health care in the community is everyone’s top priority.

“Bucktail Medical Center has cared for our Western Clinton County communities since 1909, and we intend to continue to do so in the best possible way by keeping our hospital, clinic, lab and other acute care and outpatient services open,” said Laura Murnyack, BSN, RN, CEO/Administrator of Bucktail Medical Center. “Our leadership has worked tirelessly and exercised due diligence in their efforts to support keeping the long-term care facility open; however, its increasing costs severely undermine Bucktail’s fiscal position.”

“We’ve been meeting with the Board of County Commissioners and other elected officials since November 2023 about this situation, and we are committed to finding a collaborative solution for our community that works for the future,” said Mr. Lugg. “We are partnering with the UPMC and other providers to support the transition of care and find transfer placements into the best available care for these residents. We’re also working with the families of our long-term care residents to accommodate their wishes and preferences. The welfare of these residents is our first and foremost concern.”

The closure of the long-term care facility will also result in job losses for the staff employed there. Bucktail Medical Center intends to place some of them into job positions that are currently open and is working with its health care partners to help identify positions for the workers displaced by the closure.

“As County Commissioner, I want to emphasize that the closure of the long-term care facility isn’t just a problem for Bucktail — it’s a community issue. Renovo is not alone. Many rural health institutions across the U.S. are facing unprecedented financial challenges. While no one wants to make these difficult decisions, they have to be made to achieve the goal; which is to keep BMC open and operating in our county. It’s only by coming together, pooling our resources and efforts, that we can ensure that Bucktail Medical Center remains open and accessible for the long haul,” said Angela Harding.

“Renovo is a close-knit community. These are our families, our health care workers, and our neighbors; our children attend school together,” said Ms. Murnyack. “We are working collaboratively with other health care providers in the region to ensure that every long-term care facility resident is cared for properly and with dignity. We’re also trying to minimize job losses to our excellent staff and lessen the overall impact on families throughout our region. We will keep the community apprised as we make progress, and we welcome their input and suggestions.”