Governor Bill Lee tours reopened rural hospital

BROWNSVILLE, Tenn. — Haywood County Community Hospital has been closed for eight years, causing many residents to have to leave their communities for medical treatment.

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Now, the residents of Haywood County will no longer need to travel miles for hospital services.

“We just had a tour with Governor Bill Lee today at the Haywood County Community Hospital. It’s Braden Health facility and we spent about ten million dollars to renovate it and reopen it to turn it into a 49 bed hospital and emergency department,” says chief compliance officer of Braden Health, Kyle Kopec.

One of the closest hospitals for Haywood County residents is Jackson-Madison County General Hospital and the drive is about 45 minutes from Brownsville.

This poses a risk for those with time-sensitive medical emergencies.

“When there is an emergency need for healthcare the last thing you want to do is drive a long way to get it and it’s the difference between life and death so this particular facility will be crucial for the health and well being of this community,” says Governor Bill Lee.

On Monday, August 15th the hospital will open phase one, which includes an urgent care center. From there, when the hospital receives a hospital license more phases will open. 

“Once we are granted the hospital license through Tennessee department of health, we’ll be able to open the emergency department and the inpatient wing and we’re hoping to get that very soon. We’re hopeful it can get expedited with the governor’s visit and once we’re able to get that we’ll be fully up and running on phase one,” Kopec says.

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State and healthcare officials say this hospital is the first rural hospital to reopen in the state, and as time goes on the facility will be able to offer a variety of services for those in need.

“When a rural hospital reopens in a community it involves hope, not only for healthcare but a sense of well being in the community. This is a vibrant community. It’s an incredibly important spot in this state, a very active area of the state and there’s a lot of hope here growing community,” says Governor Lee.

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