McKenzie Regional Hospital closure causes inconvenience to residents
MCKENZIE, Tenn–When driving to McKenzie Regional Hospital, people would usually see the hospital’s sign, but now that sign is gone due to the hospital’s closure on September 15. Up to 200 employees lost their jobs and citizens of McKenzie had to seek elsewhere for medical assistance.
“I started having a heart condition in the middle of trying to figure out what’s going on, so it now takes me 40 minutes to call an ambulance an get to the hospital if something really bad were to happen,” said former McKenzie Regional Hospital patient, Brandy Ross.
If something really bad were to happen, patients would have to drive further to hospitals like the Henry County Medical Center.
“Our friends in McKenzie called us and said, ‘hey our facility is closing over here, we have several friends over at McKenzie and our hearts of course go out to them,” said Henry County Medical Center CEO Lisa Casteel.
The hospitals closing also means an increased number of former McKenzie employees looking for jobs.
“Jobs were a top concern for the community and we did just that we came over and held a job fair, because we had several openings, in our facility,” said Casteel.
But as former McKenzie Regional employees applied for new jobs, McKenzie residents are still left questioning why the hospital closed in the first place.
“I’m going to lay it out there, everybody stopped going to McKenzie for many reasons, well, if you don’t have many people going out there then your going to close,” said Ross.
“I feel like the people who were employed there did the best they could as far as supplying services,” said former McKenzie patient Shonna Vowell.
Lisa Casteel CEO of Henry County Medical Center says their doors are open to help the people of McKenzie.
“I know I have already spoken to the mayor, Jill Holland and again we’re your neighbor and if there is anything we can do were certainly want to do that,” said Casteel.
People who live in McKenzie can also go to other hospitals such as Baptist Memorial Hospital in Huntington, Milan General Hospital and Jackson-Madison County General Hospital.