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New Hospital in Ozark

By: Vanessa Araiza Email
By: Vanessa Araiza Email

From groundbreakings of hotels and motels, the city of Ozark continues to make a name for itself as a growing city.

Now, with a new hospital in the preliminary stages, it seems the city is on the fast track to economic growth.

As one door closes, another one opens.

And, that's what it seems like for the Dale County Medical Center.

Just a few weeks ago, the hospital decided to close its OB/GYN department. However, that closing is helping prepare the center for a future project.

Vernon Johnson, chief executive officer with the Dale County Medical Center said, "We are sitting in a 1952 Hillborough Hospital; it's an aging facility and it has its challenges in keeping it up and running."

Johnson says the hospital is in the preliminary stages of being rebuilt.

The new location would be right next to the Surgery Center on Highway 231, sitting on 85 acres of land.

"As far as the date, we are in the preliminary stages of planning,” Johnson added. “There's a lot of work that needs to be done on the financial side."

Johnson says the money from the OB/GYN department will go towards the funds that are needed for the new hospital.

He says every little bit of money helps, especially during this difficult economic downturn. "Healthcare is not in a good time right now, as far as monies are,” he continued. “And, services are being cut back and there are a lot of challenges."

However, city officials say the positive outcomes far outweigh the challenges the new hospital will bring.

Ozark Mayor Bob Bunting said, “When that happens, you know that'll mean great things for Ozark; obviously attract new doctors and also, we think it will help attract retirees to the area too."

While the hospital may not be built as quickly as tomorrow, officials say when they finally plan to break ground, it will take 18 months to two years to complete the hospital.

Officials say the economy plays a large role in when the new hospital will begin construction.


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