George County Hospital Opens Final Phase Of Expansion Plan

The new Community Medical Center and OBGYN clinic in Lucedale was unveiled to the public Saturday with a dedication ceremony and open house.

The new 22,000 square foot facility is the final phase of an expansion project for George County Hospital.

"We're so happy," hospital administrator Dr. Harry Patel said. "We have been wanting this clinic for a long time."

The new clinic is two times the size of the old one, and that's what employees are most excited about.

"Physicians in the old structure had to share exams rooms on days off, where here, they have their own office, and they have their own dedicated exam rooms," Dr. Patel said.

Besides the extra space, the new center also has modern equipment, and an up-to-date look.

"The patients, unfortunately, don't know a lot about medicine, but they do put a lot of stock in what you look like. So we want to feel comfortable. We want it to be as nice as something they would see in a Mobile market or a Gulf Coast market, " hospital administrator Paul Gardner said.

Although Lucedale is not as big as those other areas, it's growing just as fast. And that's why a new facility like this one is needed.

"Back in '91, there were only three doctors in town. Today, we have 14 in full-time positions. That combined with the fact that George County's population is growing at a pretty rapid rate has increased the demand," Gardner said.

It's a demand that Hospital officials say the staff at the new medical center can definitely meet.