• Mississippi hospital to remain open after finding new owner

    By: Tom Dees


    A pregnant Houston, Mississippi woman died last week because there was no hospital nearby when she went into distress. The nearest hospital had closed five years ago. 

    Residents in Panola County were worried that they too could encounter problems in emergency situations if the Panola Medical Center closed. The issue was a real concern because the previous owners went bankrupt.

    The Panola Medical Center staying open is critical. If it wasn’t, residents would be faced with:

    - a 25-minute ride to a hospital in Oxford
    - a 45-minute ride to a hospital in DeSoto County
    - or a 40-minute ride to a hospital in Grenada.

    Panola Medical Center was owned by Curae Health until it went bankrupt. That raised concern in the area, but FOX13 has learned it is now being sold to Progressive Medical Management.

    Candice King of Marks Mississippi has used the hospital in the past and is glad it is staying open.

    “If it closes up somebody could possibly lose their life,” King said. “Certain illnesses… such as stroke or heart attack… if you can’t get to emergency services in a few minutes you could lose your life.”

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    Panola Medical Center management told FOX13 the hospital sees almost 19,000 emergency room visits a year. 

    “I think it is a good deal so we won’t have to drive so far away,” Sarritta Cauthen of Batesville said.
    FOX13 learned the hospital is the fourth largest employer in the county with 350 employees. 

    “If that hospital were to close that would mean a commute of up to an hour and a half every day just to go to work,” King said.

    County leaders said a huge financial and patient burden would have been placed on other hospitals in the area had the hospital closed.

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