Mayor Jill Holland Responds To McKenzie Hospital Closing
Ispeak for our entire community when I emphasize the heartbreak in losing our hospital which has played a key role in McKenzie’s healthcare for 44 years. Unfortunately, rural healthcare is changing as the trend is more toward regionalism, and our hospital is the sixth to close in West Tennessee over the past few years. Sadly, we are not immune to those trends. Business decisions are made on the corporate level based on profits and losses. The profitability challenges that rural hospitals face, and the difficulty in attracting specialists is a never ending challenge for our small hospitals. However, we are fortunate that we have two excellent hospitals within just a few minutes of us.
I have met with the West Tennessee Vice-President of Marketing and Acquisitions for Baptist, and have been assured they will make every effort to place the employees now in McKenzie. I also understand that Baptist plans to add ambulances in order to improve the EMS in our county. In addition, they are planning on retaining the employees who work for our ambulance service.
McKenzie is home to a premier medical center in West Tennessee, and the excellent services they provide and physicians are top-notch and board certified. We have been assured by Baptist that they have met, and are working with them to foster and maintain relationships in order that McKenzie Medical Center continues to serve our area with the same professionalism and high standards the patients expect.
In our meetings, we have stressed to Baptist that it is of the upmost importance to make sure the future use of the building is a benefit to the surrounding medical offices in addition to being an asset in our community. Although, the hospital will be closing, the opportunity is there to enhance our current medical complex with a facility which can add to the quality of life for our citizens.
Carroll Memorial Baptist has expanded their services to reach out to all county residents and beyond. They have added a geriatric diagnostic unit, the Sterns Cardiac unit and are adding intensive care in addition to other specialties. They are the oldest (107 years old) faith-based, non-profit hospital in Tennessee, and have committed to providing the best quality care for all Carroll Countians.
McKenzie Mayor Jill Holland