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Clarksville could lose hospital

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Tyler-based East Texas Medical Center Regional Healthcare System will not be renewing its lease at the group's facility in Clarksville, according to a report by eparisextra.com. The current lease expires in March 2016, the report said.

Some Clarksville residents and others in Red River County could have to travel to Paris or other larger towns in the region for medical care if East Texas Medical Center's Clarksville location is closed and not replaced with a similar facility. The Red River Hospital Authority Board is interviewing hospitals to replace East Texas Medical Center's role at the Clarksville location, the report said.

A statement issued by East Texas Medical Center said that the emergency room in Clarksville averages less than one patient per hour.

"This lack of utilization coupled with cuts in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements have led to unsustainable financial losses at the hospital," the statement said.

The Clarksville facility has 30 beds and offices specialists in internal medicine, cardiology, geriatric medicine and other disciplines, the report said.

The U.S. Census Bureau estimated that in 2013, Red River County residents aged 65 or older comprised 22.6 percent of the population, higher than the Texas average of 11.2 percent.

In the 2010 U.S. Census, Clarksville reported a population of 3,285, a 15.4 percent drop from its 2000 population of 3,883. In 2010, Red River County reported a population of 12,860, a 10.2 percent drop from its 2000 population of 14,314.

East Texas Medical Center Regional Healthcare System operates hospitals, clinics, emergency facilities, rehabilitation facilities and health clubs in Anderson, Camp, Cherokee, Ellis, Franklin, Freestone, Henderson, Hopkins, Houston, Panola, Red River, Rusk, Shelby, Smith, Trinity, Upshur, Van Zandt and Wood counties.

Mark Haslett has served at KETR since 2013. Since then, the station's news operation has enjoyed an increase in listener engagement and audience metrics, as well recognition in the Texas AP Broadcasters awards.