PINEVILLE, KY – Americore Health, whose CEO Grant White claimed in March to have access to as much capital as he needs, was unable to make payroll at Pineville Community Hospital (PCH) Friday according to staff members and sources close to the hospital. The Big ONE 106.3 FM in Middlesboro, Ky. first broke the news earlier this evening, and we have been following up on the story ever since.
“We were all treated like gum on the bottom of their shoes today.”
“Lots of people were upset today”, one employee remarked in a conversation with The Lee Daily Register about the payroll fiasco. No one seemed to have a clue that pay checks would not be there today. Hospital officials notified all employees via e-mail at 9:58 this morning that checks would be distributed as usual. Another employee confirmed, “We were sent an e-mail that [said] checks would be available at 4 p.m. in the cafeteria. It surprised us all, because we waited until after 5 before we were told it would be Monday or Tuesday” before employees would be able to get their paychecks.
Multiple reports say that employees were actually prevented from entering the cafeteria while they waited over an hour for paychecks that never came. When we asked how employees felt Americore Health treated them, one employee put it simply, “We were all treated like gum on the bottom of their shoes today.”
Another employee remarked, “Ever since they [Americore Health] walked in the door, they have questioned my pay.”
“Ever since they walked in the door, they have questioned my pay.”
A call to PCH this evening provided no definitive answers, but we were told “I’m sorry we’re not supposed to talk about that” when we asked if it was true that payroll was not met today.
We also attempted to reach out to Americore Health, but all of our calls eventually went to voicemail after multiple rings. We were unable to leave a message because the mailbox was full. The number we called was (954) 654-0301: Americore Health’s only number listed on their website. When the voicemail system answered, a human voice spoke the name “Grant White” as the mailbox owner. There was no switchboard to access or alternate telephone number to call.
The Big ONE 106.3 FM reported earlier today: “We have been told that the delay is due to some type of insurance payment not being made to the hospital in a timely manner.” The Lee Daily Register will attempt to confirm this and further details, should we succeed in speaking with Americore Health officials. We will keep seeking answers throughout the day tomorrow and for as long as it takes.
Today’s news further tarnishes morale at the beleaguered hospital that Americore Health was supposed to save. Today marked the second time that the Florida startup has been unable to make payroll on-time since taking over the hospital in March 2017, despite having laid off numerous workers since then—at least 30 by last official count.
In the face of this troubling news, Americore Health is still advertising for a number of open RN positions at PCH.
Today’s developments at PCH, in addition to the discoveries we made about the civil, financial, and legal troubles of Americore Health’s CEO Grant White and the origin of Americore Health LLC, should be of great concern to the people of Lee County, Va. and to the Lee County Hospital Authority (LCHA), who executed a letter of intent with Americore Health to reopen the hospital in Pennington Gap in early October 2016 after months of reported planning with Mountain States Health Alliance to do the same.
How this news will affect PCH and the plans of LCHA remains to be seen, but we will continue to update you on this developing story as more news becomes available.