Sharon Regional president on sale rumors: 'There's nothing going on like that now.'

Jan. 19—SHARON — Rumors that Sharon Regional Medical Center is being sold is just that — "rumors" — Robert Rogalski, president of the healthcare provider, said Wednesday.

Speculation that the Sharon-based hospital was getting sold swirled last week after its owner, Steward Health Care System, had racked up $50 million in unpaid rent.

During a public comment period at its annual board meeting held Wednesday evening at the hospital, Rogalski was asked if the hospital was sold or being shopped around by Steward to potential buyers.

"It's a rumor," he said. "There's nothing going on like that now."

Like other hospital systems, Sharon Regional is dealing with inflation and labor shortages, Rogalski said.

"It's put pressure on us financially," he said.

Sharon Regional's final 2023 financial reports aren't yet in but it looks the for-profit healthcare provider was around the break-even point, Rogalski said.

Named Sharon Regional's president on Aug. 26, 2020, Rogalski said the healthcare provider has done well since his tenure began.

Last year the hospital went to all-private rooms, which he said has been successful. In another positive measure, 100% of Sharon Regional School of Nursing's most recent graduating class passed the State Board of Nursing exam.

Steward is a privately-held company and Sharon Regional's board largely serves in an advisory capacity. Rogalski wasn't required to give financial figures or respond to questions.

A CNHI News report last week in The Herald detailed how hospitals in Pennsylvania got hammered with COVID-19 costs when the pandemic rage between March 2020 through December 2022.

Hospitals racked up an estimated cost of $8.1 billion combined in related expenses and lost revenue. The largest cost was in staffing at $1.3 billion. Lost revenue totaled $5.3 billion, caused by the cancellation of doctor appointments and elective surgeries, among many other factors.