YAKIMA, WA - Astria Regional Medical Center in Yakima has officially closed its doors. NBC Right Now had spoke with now-former employees and families impacted by the abrupt closure.
”It's kind of been a slap in the face; 'thanks for working with us for 12 plus years, 20 plus years, 50 plus years, we're done,'” said Meagan Lott, the wife of a former employee.
Meagan's husband, James Lott, was among more than 400 other employees who got an email late Wednesday night, Jan. 8, saying the hospital had closed.
"We were blindsided by the whole thing, and yeah, it's devastating,” said Heather Sampson, a former radiologic technologist with Astria Regional Medical Center.
"Employees, from their managers, were being told everything is going to be okay," Meagan said. "'We're not going to be doing any lay offs, it's going to be rough, but we're going to get through this.'"
Meagan says there are a lot of unanswered questions.
"No communication whatsoever," she explained. "There is close to 500 people this is happening to with no one telling anyone what's going on."
And while the employees gathered to see the hospital one last time, they say the community lost as well.
"It's a huge huge loss for the community and a huge loss for our families and kiddos," said Sampson.
Meagan tells us the hospital had said former employees would get help finding a new job or would be transferred... but so far, neither has happened.
"Our impression is Sunnyside and Toppenish are fully staffed," she says, "so there aren't any positions for him to transfer into unless they open positions now that people will be needing jobs."