Healthcare options for people in Stone County are growing. Stone County Hospital has opened a new nursing home. What makes this even more significant is that just five years ago, the hospital had shut down.
With treatment, Stone County resident Newton Cochran hopes to regain the strength lost during a bout with bladder cancer. During his hospital stay, he's getting plenty of exercise and plenty of visits from supportive friends.
"I really like it," said the 67-year-old. "They ain't got all that far to travel."
Physical therapy has been part of Stone County hospital since reopening nearly three years ago. But until recently, local patients needing other medical procedures like mammograms, ultrasounds, and CT scans had to go to Hattiesburg or the Gulf Coast.
Carmen Reeves is Nursing Director.
"You may actually have to go and have to wait half a day or a whole day to have the procedure done. The convenience of it being here is that we're obviously smaller and we can actually provide the service to a patient in a more timely manner."
The hospital is one of only about three medical facilities in the state that has an entire wing devoted to Alzheimer's patients. Pictures near the doors to their rooms help them recapture the lives they often struggle not to forget.
The hospital staff says they'll never forget what having quality healthcare means to this community.
"We're basically from here and we want that service to be for our community," said Reeves.
A new nursing home and a larger staff (including three new doctors and a nurse practitioner at the clinic) are signs Stone County Hospital is healthy once again. In the future, Reeves says patients at Stone County Hospital could have access to more specialists and pediatric care.