Ellis Rehab Center abruptly closes its doors, blindsides parents
POSTED: Thursday, July 12, 2012 - 3:04pm
UPDATED: Thursday, July 12, 2012 - 4:15pm
An east Texas pediatric rehab center abruptly closed its doors Wednesday, leaving many patients and their parents blindsided by the news.
Ellis Rehab Center Just for Kids! has two locations, one in Tyler and in Athens.
Wednesday, patients got the news with no warning, by either a phone call saying their appointments were canceled or by hearing about it on the news.
Parents we spoke with have many unanswered questions.
At the Tyler location, the front doors are locked ... with a sign taped up saying the facility is no longer taking patients.
"I just wish we could have been given some warning," said mom Kishla Davis.
Davis' six-year-old son has been coming there for six months, until she got a call Wednesday afternoon.
"They left a voicemail ... I thought they were just calling to reschedule our appointment, and when they said my son wold not be returning, that they were closing their doors, I was ... my jaw dropped," she said.
KETK spoke with one of the owners, Vickie Ellis, who declined to go on camera.
Ellis kept her statement brief, but says the biggest reason for the close is slow and delayed payments.
Ellis says she is just as surprised and disappointed as her patients.
"We heard they were closing down on the news last night," said Wendell Lackey. "We heard they notified everybody, but we've been here for three years and we weren't notified of anything."
Lackey, along with many parents will now have to find somewhere new to take their child for physical, occupational and speech therapy.
"The only thing I feel like my little boy really lost were some people that were really doing him some good," Lackey said. "And now he's lost them, so we're gonna have to try and find somebody else."
Ellis is giving parents options of other therapy centers in the area and instructions on how to get children's records.
Children's Therapy Services in Tyler is one of the facilities mentioned.
The director of therapy there, Dennis Kress, says the center has received a large number of calls over the past day from parents of Ellis patients.
"We are just trying to accommodate them the best we can," Kress said. "We're gonna try to do everything we can to aid the patients and parents and get them in as fast as we can. We're pretty full, but if we have to hire more therapists, we will hire more therapists."
Kress tells KETK if his facility can't help the children, they will help them find someone who can so those kids don't have to have a big disruption in getting the services they need.
The Ellis Rehab website was updated Thursday to mention the closure.
The number to call to request medical records is also posted there.