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      Without support, Putnam County Memorial Hospital could close in two weeks

      Update: Sunday, 10:37 pm

      Mary Knowles with the Concerned Citizens of Putnam County said the Putnam County Foundation has received $7,000 in pledges, checks and cash.

      Also worthy of note, Interim CEO Cliff Corbett has pledged to donate $1,000.


      Residents of Putnam County learned Sunday afternoon that their local hospital could close in two weeks if it does not receive more support from the community. .

      That's the news the Putnam County Memorial Hospital Interim CEO Cliff Corbett relayed to the crowd at a town hall meeting.

      He said the hospital needs more patients. Right now, he said it is barely able to make payroll and if it is going to stay open, it needs cash and now.

      On Wednesday, we told you the hospital faces a debt of $7 million dollars, due to defaulting on a bond it purchased in order to renovate the hospital in 2006. In order to keep the doors open, Corbett said the hospital needs at least $1 million to stay open for another month. He said that would help the hospital catch up on its bills.

      On Sunday, members of the community listened to the hospital's Board of Directors and a question and answer session was held.

      Overall, most in attendance agreed the county needs to have a hospital but some residents raised concerns about the need for more doctors, and also, about whether to trust the current board to help the hospital get back on its feet.

      We talked to a couple of attendees afterwards. Here's that they had to say.

      "I thought it was a real good meeting and real informative," said Danny Valentine of Lucerne, Mo.

      " We have a serious problem. It's going to take some time for sure but we don't want to lose our hospital," said Helen McHenry, of Unionville, Mo.

      "The community needs to rally and support this hospital the best it can," said Kim Knight, also of Unionville, Mo. "We need to get the doctors, we need to find sources of grants and funding to help support this. There's grants out there I think they need to look at. They need to go find other hospitals to affiliate with."

      During the town hall meeting, the Concerned Citizens of Putnam County announced their "Give me $5 campaign" which hopes to get a million people to donate at least five dollars to the hospital.

      McHenry said she's unsure of whether the community would be able to pull it off.

      "They're trying now to get the community to give money. But it's such a huge amount. $7 million is a lot of money. So I don't know if anybody can really figure out what is to be done."

      After the meeting, 11 people wrote checks, eight people signed pledges, and more than $100 dollars in cash was donated.

      If you'd like to donate, you can send a check payable to: Putnam County Foundation, with a memo stating "unrestricted/for operations." You can mail the check to the Putnam County Foundation , PO Box 205, Unionville, Mo. 63565.

      Also, you can drop off a donation at the Great Western Bank, Farmer's Bank of Northern Missouri, and the Putnam County State bank in Unionville. Organizers said that the donations could be tax deductible.

      Also, by the end of next week, you can donate on the hospital's website.

      Here is a link to our previous story.