Shock turning to reality for former Ellwood City ER employees

ELLWOOD CITY, Pa. — What started off as a shock is quickly turning to reality for former employees of the Ellwood City Medical Center.

“It would have been 43 years on Feb. 1, coming up,” said Patty Partington.

Partington said she expected to spend the rest of her career at the hospital, but when the emergency room closed unexpectedly before Thanksgiving, those plans changed.

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“We’re saying goodbye to family, basically,” she said.

Partington and dozens of other former employees spent the afternoon looking for new careers at the Ellwood City Municipal Building. State Rep. Aaron Bernstine said the fair became a necessity after the Pennsylvania Department of Health shut down the rest of the medical center earlier this week.

“The entire community has rallied around these people. It only took us 36 hours to get 30 companies to come to this event,” he said.

Several former employees said they’re experiencing issues getting their unemployment benefits, making the job fair even more critical for those individuals.

“Usually when one door closes, another door opens. I’m pretty positive that we’ll land on our feet,” said former ER nurse Betsy Berendt.