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Frontier Nursing Service considers offers for Hyden hospital from 2 buyers

Frontier Nursing Service is considering offers from two buyers for Mary Breckinridge Hospital of Hyden.

The executive committee for the non-profit that also runs a nurse-midwifery school and four clinics in Eastern Kentucky met Friday about the offers, and the board of governors will meet by conference call Wednesday, board member Rhonda Brashear said.

The hospital, which laid off about 80 people last fall, has struggled financially because of decreased Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, and an endowment that has been hit hard by the recession.

"Across the nation hospitals are experiencing the same thing," Brashear said.

"In this community, it's really personal."

Brashear said the nurse-midwifery school is doing well financially and won't be part of the sale.

Hyden has about 800 residents, and Leslie County has about 12,000. The Frontier Nursing Service began in 1925 as a network of public health nurses, midwives and clinics.