St. Joseph Hospital loses one possible buyer, gains four others

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Still no buyer for St. Joseph Hospital.

News 12's Meredith Taylor is on your side with the latest on what the hospital is doing to make a sale.

A bit of a setback last month, when Health Management Associates backed out of the deal to buy St. Joseph Hospital--but now things are picking up speed again.

While one door closes, four potential ones are opening up for St. Joseph Hospital.

"We've had 3 that have come through site visits, one more is coming this week," says Elaine Comeau, interim CEO of St. Joseph.

Hospital officials are pushing through, not letting the fall-through of a $75 million sale cloud their optimism.

"We've had a difficult year, with the announcement of the sale, but the care here is still the same, the employees are loyal and the physicians are loyal," Comeau says.

Becki Hodges knows loyalty firsthand.

She's been at St. Joseph for 18 years, and, despite word of financial trouble, she stands behind the hospital's reputation.

"It's a wonderful place to work, and I'm encouraged by what's happened and that we're moving forward," Hodges says.

It's not clear how long it will take to secure another buyer, but the current owners says patients and employees don't need to worry about that.

"The problems with the sale have nothing to do with St. Joseph," says Comeau.

St. Joseph is over 50 years old and known for many medical firsts. Hospital workers expect that the right bidder for the hospital and for the people it serves will be found soon.

"There's no question. St. Joseph was built by the community. We'll remain here to serve the community," says Comeau.

The 4 potential buyers looking at St. Joseph have until April 3 to decide if they are interested.

Ascension Health says it feels confident one of them will go through.