Affinity Medical Center in Massillon will permanently close on March 6, with clinical operations ending Feb. 4, its corporate parent announced Friday.

Quorum Health Corp. said it decided to close the hospital after “extensive” efforts to sell the facility.

All Affinity Medical Center employees are expected to work as scheduled through March 6, Quorum said in a filing Friday with the state of Ohio.

“Closing the hospital is an immensely difficult decision,” Affinity Chief Executive John Walsh said in a prepared statement. “We worked diligently to identify a regional partner to acquire the facility but were unsuccessful. Now we’re shifting that effort to coordinate with local and state resources to help make a smooth transition for our patients and community. Fortunately, with several nearby health systems, clinics and physician providers, Stark County residents will have continued access to local care.”

The news of the closing, though, wasn’t well-received in Massillon, where city officials and leaders in the medical community began talks Friday about how to keep a hospital in the city. It has been serving Massillon since 1904.

“It is a vital component in our city,” said Massillon Mayor Kathy Catazaro-Perry, a registered nurse who worked at the hospital. “We’re going to do everything in our power to pull together and figure out our options.”

National Nurses United, the nursing union that represents about 250 RNs at Affinity, also opposed the planned closure, saying it “could cause a dangerous medical crisis for thousands of residents in the predominantly rural, low-income community.”

The acute care hospital will begin reducing the number of patients coming in starting next week, according to a news release. Patients currently getting care at the hospital will not be affected, according to the release.

Quorum is a publicly traded company spun off of for-profit Community Health Systems in 2015. Quorum owns, leases or operates 31 hospitals with a total of 3,000 beds.

Quorum, based in Tennessee, said the 156-bed Massillon hospital is closing because of six consecutive years of financial losses. The company said the losses have been caused by declining revenue, higher compensation to providers as well as by competition.

Affinity was formed in February 2006 through a joint venture by Massillon Community Hospital’s owner, Akron General Health System, and Doctors Hospital’s former owner, the for-profit Triad Hospitals Inc.

The merger deal between Massillon Community and Doctors hospitals required some medical services to remain in Massillon until at least 2011.

Quorum said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that the impending Massillon closure is a “strategic decision” that followed “extensive efforts to sell the facility.”

Quorum said in the SEC filing it cannot provide an expected completion date for all activities associated with the closure but said it expects most “closure activities” to be completed by March 31.

Closure factors include following federal health-care and employment laws and resolving physician agreements, the company said.

Quorum did not provide an estimate of closure costs but said it expected to do so in upcoming filings.

Shares in Quorum were down 40 cents, or 6.2 percent, as of 11:40 a.m. Friday. Shares are down 2.2 percent since Jan. 1 and are down 29.6 percent from a year ago.

The hospital provided a phone number and email address for current and former patients who have questions about the impending closure, including obtaining their medical records. They may call 615-221-3752 or email

The phone number and email are for current and former patients at Affinity Medical Center, and for others receiving treatment from an employed Affinity medical group physician at Affinity Primary Care, Affinity Family Physicians, Affinity Internal Medicine Physicians, Affinity Specialty Physicians, Affinity Clinical Gastroenterology or Thoracic Surgical Associates, the hospital said in its news release.

The hospital said its executives planned to meet with employees starting Friday to discuss transition plans.

The hospital said it will provide assistance to help employees connect with other employers, and that employees who remain with Affinity as the hospital winds down operations will continue to be paid and receive benefits.

“We are extremely grateful to our dedicated team of employees, nurses, physicians, volunteers and board members for their tireless service to our patients and their families,” Walsh said in a statement. “Most of all, we are grateful to our community — our neighbors and friends — for allowing us to serve as your trusted health care resource for more than 100 years.”

After the hospital closes, Affinity executives said they plan to work with the local real estate community and state and local economic development professionals to find a new use for the hospital building and campus.