Covington County Hospital (CCH) and South Central Regional Medical Center (SCRMC), two rural hospitals in Mississippi, US, have entered a collaboration for opening an emergency hospital in Raleigh.

To be situated at 347 Magnolia Drive in Raleigh, the Smith County Emergency Hospital will provide services for residents of Smith County as well as its neighbourhood locations.

The newly opened facility will provide round-the-clock emergency room services, observation care and outpatient services including computed tomography (CT), digital radiology and laboratory services for patients.

This hospital earlier operated as Patients’ Choice Medical Center in the area.

Following restoration, the emergency hospital will feature a new emergency unit, radiology and imaging suite, laboratory, and new admissions area. 

This project is currently in the planning phase with physical revamp work anticipated to begin next year. 

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The hospital is expected to open in the fall of 2024.

According to the US Census Bureau data, Smith County has a population of nearly 14,000 people, with their nearest emergency services being more than 30 minutes away.

CCH and SCRMC CEO Gregg Gibbes said: “When minutes may be the difference in saving someone, this new Rural Emergency Hospital will be a lifesaver for Raleigh, Smith County and surrounding communities. 

“This partnership will not only play a critical role in delivering healthcare but will also create new high-paying jobs in the community.”

This development builds on a successful alliance between SCRMC, CCH, Magee General Hospital and Simpson General Hospital to leverage a shared services model under an administrative services agreement. 

The inclusion of another hospital in the alliance is aimed at serving people in the Smith County area and bolster current associations.

Gibbes added: “The best part of the story is that neighbouring rural hospitals are providing the solution; not someone from out of town or out of state, who’s out of touch. 

“Our independent rural hospitals are partnering together to create a solution for a neighbouring community that has a need.”