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story.lead_photo.caption Neighbors Emergency Center, 2001 Mall Drive, opened in July 2016. Photo by Jerry Habraken / Texarkana Gazette.

Houston-based Neighbors Emergency Center, which operates more than 20 free-standing emergency rooms in Texas and elsewhere, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The company's holdings include Neighbors Emergency Center at 2001 Mall Drive, Texarkana, Texas. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in mid-July in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas bankruptcy court. Chapter 11 bankruptcy typically consists of a reorganization of debt meant to allow the debtor to keep its business alive and pay creditors over time.

The bankruptcy case has been designated as complex, but a company spokeswoman said the move won't affect individual emergency centers' operations.

"All of our 22 centers are remaining open. We are well-staffed, paying our bills and we are treating patients' health needs 24-7," Neighbors Health Director of Marketing and Communications Kathleen O'Banion said. "The bankruptcy was filed to prepare for sale."

O'Banion said she is not at liberty to discuss whether all of Neighbors' holdings will be sold together to a single buyer or whether the centers will be parceled out to different buyers, on the advice of the corporation's legal counsel.

The 24-hour Neighbors emergency room in Texarkana opened in summer 2016. The business touts an alternative to long waits in crowded hospital emergency departments. The company was founded in 2008.

Neighbors Emergency Center in Texarkana is in no way affiliated with locally owned Texarkana Emergency Center, Texarkana Emergency Center Medical Director Dr. Matt Young said.

"The owners at Texarkana Emergency Center want to make sure the community knows that we are not the ones filing for bankruptcy," Young said. "Neighbors deployed a strategy of incorporating under a very similar name to ours to coattail on our branding. We chose not to fight it legally and to let our patient care, reputation and community involvement speak for itself. We are solid members of the community who are here to serve Texarkana and the surrounding area for the long haul."

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