Candlelight Vigil is Last Procedure at Hospital

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Nearly a century of healthcare at a hospital in Lackawanna County is over. Marian Community Hospital in Carbondale closed for good Tuesday night, after an emotional candlelight vigil inside.

The hospital shut down at 5 o’clock, that left 230 people who worked there out of jobs.

Many of them gathered inside the hospital during their final half hour of work to say goodbye to the place that served the community for decades.

A crowd of doctors, nurses and other employees of Marian Community then gathered outside as the doors were officially locked. The hospital closed.

Many shared hugs and a lot of emotions.

“It’s like losing a good friend. I’ve been here 10 years. I’m going to miss it a lot,” said RN Joyce Covaleski.

All day there were hugs, tears too, especially at a private candlelight vigil inside during the hospital’s final half hour.

“Oh it was beautiful. It was beautiful,” added Covaleski. “Sister read a beautiful history of the hospital and how it all came together and each time a significant milestone was reached they lit a candle. It was just gorgeous and then we all processed out in silence and in tears. ”

“It was just so sad everyone was crying. We’re a big happy family. It’s a very small hospital so you know many of the people there,” said medical technologist Lynn Pfohl

Now the building that was home to thousands of births, thousands of life saving procedures is empty, no longer a hospital serving Carbondale and Lackawanna County’s Up-Valley.

The owners shut the place blaming rising costs and a shrinking number of patients.

“The care was very very good,” said RN Janice Black. “I loved it here. I was a member of the family here for 6 years.”

There are hopes in Carbondale that some kind of healthcare facility takes over the building. But city officials admit that’s unlikely.

Instead, employees gathered and said goodbye to their hospital, a place that provided jobs for thousands of people over the last century.

“It’s very difficult to fill a building like that,” said Black. “And that chapel is gorgeous. I don’t know what they’re going to do with everything there. I don’t think it will have a future as a hospital.”

Now, the nearest hospital for most people in Carbondale to get care is either a 15 mile trip to Scranton or a 15 mile trip to Honesdale in Wayne County.