CEO of company operating nearby hospital removed, trustee to be named

Photo: Izard County Medical Center

The CEO of a health-care company whose holdings cover four hospitals, including the Izard County Medical Center in Calico Rock, has been removed by a federal bankruptcy judge while a trustee oversees the company.

According to a report from the Times in Beaver, Pennsylvania, the judge’s order has removed Grant White as CEO of Americore Holdings LLC.

The action comes following an earlier report by the Associated Press citing the St. Louis Post-Dispatch saying a court filing by the U.S. Trustee’s office accuses White of mismanagement and says he “has not operated the hospitals in a manner that is consistent with public safety and welfare.”

Americore’s parent company is based in Florida and in December filed for bankruptcy in a case that includes the Izard County Medical Center and three other hospitals.

In early January, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported the bankruptcy filings.

The Little Rock paper said the petition was filed under Chapter 11 of U.S. bankruptcy code, meaning the court can be asked to reorganize debts and continue operation.

The Izard County Medical Center was established in 1952 and was acquired by Americore in 2017.

The hospital has 25 beds and an emergency room open 24/7, and it is a critical access medical center. Critical Access Hospital is a designation given to eligible rural hospitals by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The designation is designed to reduce the financial vulnerability of rural hospitals and improve access to healthcare by keeping essential services in rural communities.

According to documents filed earlier, the hospital’s assets and liabilities each totaled less than $50,000.

The paper also reported a lawsuit was filed in Izard County Circuit Court in December alleging the hospital and its operator owe more than $307,000 in back rent to a landlord, and they have not paid their 2018 property taxes, which total nearly $40,000.

In an earlier development, the St. Louis paper reported court documents say one of Americore’s hospitals, Ellwood City Medical Center in Pennsylvania, was raided by the FBI on Jan. 30, and White’s home was raided the day before.

Randolph said White had “improperly siphoned money” from debtors for his personal benefit, but said he did not believe that White has been charged with a crime.

The company operates a hospital in St. Louis as well as the Izard County Medical Center in Calico Rock.

Local officials have expressed issues with whether or not the Calico Rock hospital can remain open. In the agreement reached by the bankruptcy judge, a Chapter 11 trustee was ordered to be named for the position.

Officials said the changes will allow the hospital to come up with a plan to repay creditors and run the company in an efficient manner, the newspaper reported.

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