GEORGE COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The regional health care system in George County is moving forward with the next phase of a roughly $12 million expansion. It's a project that includes new construction and various hospital improvements.
The George Regional Health System has already added a skilled nursing facility and an acute care wing. These latest plans will create new space for labor and delivery, the emergency room and radiology.
George County residents appreciate having easy access to quality medical care. Annette Riley is a lifelong resident.
"In my case, I once had small children that had to go to the doctor, the emergency room, and it was nice to have it there. Now, as parents get older, I've had family members that have been in the hospital in the new rehab facility, and it's been really great," Riley said.
"We'll make sure the site work flows right for us," said hospital system CEO Greg Havard, as he discussed the expansion plans before the Lucedale Kiwanis Club on Thursday.
"The primary reason we're doing the expansion is to alleviate the overcrowding in our emergency room. You know, we're seeing our case load in the emergency room is growing exponentially every year," said Havard.
Dr. Dayton Whites is a retired physician who practiced for 45 years in George County. He's pleased with the planned expansion.
"I think it's great. You know, always George County Hospital has tried to keep up with what's going on in the medical world," said Whites.
The president of the George County Board of Supervisors says the availability of affordable, quality health care is one of the things families consider when they settle in the area.
"It's very important to our community. Our residents here, having the health care facilities that we need to take us on into the future. Our expansion will allow much more access to our facilities and things we have to offer through our health system here in George County," said board president Larry McDonald.
"It is great to know that we're getting better health care and getting good health care here, without us having to go to Pascagoula or Mobile," said resident Connie Burkhalter.
"You know what? You never know when you're going to need it. And when you need it, it's very good for it to be there," said Riley.
Work to expand the labor and delivery department will happen this summer. Construction of the new, two-story addition that will include the ER and radiology will likely begin early next year.
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