Sale of shuttered Temple clinic approved by bankruptcy judge

TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) - A federal bankruptcy judge in Waco on Friday issued an order that clears the way for King’s Daughter’s Clinic (KDC), which closed on Dec. 4, to be purchased by Seton Hospital’s parent company which has plans to re-open the clinic very soon.

Chief U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Ronald B. King signed the order authorizing the sale of “the facility located at 1905 SW H K Dodgen Loop, known as Little River Healthcare King’s Daughter's” to Seton, part of “Ascension Texas d/b/a Seton Healthcare Family, a Texas corporation and an affiliate of Buyer.”

Little River Healthcare King’s Daughter’s Clinic turned patients away on Dec. 4 after Little River Healthcare Holdings LLC and seven affiliated companies, filed for protection under bankruptcy statutes, court documents show.

A doctor who asked not to be identified said staffers were notified Wednesday (Dec. 5) morning that they were being laid off.

The judge’s order approves the sale and provides a pathway for the sale to close, which still is set for Jan. 1, 2019, just published court documents show.

Seton, contacted Monday, would not make comment about the court action.

But several local healthcare workers who were laid off when KDC closed earlier this month told News 10 they’re hopeful, now that the court has approved the sale, that they could be called back to work soon.

“We’ve been on a roller coaster ride since we were laid off,” Kelli Abel said.

She worked for KDC for seven years, the last one as nursing supervisor, the position she held when she was laid off.

The closure affected between 40 and 75 staff members, both healthcare professionals and those who worked as office staff, but Abel said it was toughest on her patients.

Repeated calls to Little River Healthcare facilities have gone un-returned.

“There are several and they’re all missed,” she said, “They are like family to us.”

The patients who were turned away in early December weren’t shy about making their feelings known: "Looks like I need to find another primary care physician," said Kesha Spluaa, a patient for three years.

"I am disappointed because I need to find a new doctor and my wife needs to find a new doctor,” patient Dece Vanderbogart said.

“This hurts me now because I don't know what to do."

Abel said she’s hopeful things will work out like she’s been told: “We hope we get hired back. That’s what we’ve been told.”

There is no time line, however, and it’s not known when the buyers might announce their plans.

The company filed for bankruptcy in July and then filed last month to liquidate.

Texas Workforce Commission spokeswoman Lisa Givens said a total of 298 employees were laid off.