Hospitals are a major part of smaller cities. They are a part of the fabric of communities.
So it was welcome news that The Medical Center at Franklin has completed a $4 million expansion, which includes two new operating suites, an endoscopy suite and a six-bed recovery unit.
Quick access to health care is crucial in any community. It improves health care and adds to a community’s quality of life.
Smaller towns often do not have adequate surgical facilities to avoid the requirement of patients having to travel or be transported to hospitals miles away.
Each minute of transportation to an out-of-town hospital can affect whether a patient, for example, survives an accident.
For Simpson County, which has a population of around 17,000, residents now have more options for surgeries and testing. Fourteen percent of Simpson residents are 65 or older, an age group that needs more medical care than younger adults.
Additionally, the investment equates to an easier time for patients’ relatives, who in some instances won’t have to travel and stay overnight in another city as they help with family members’ recoveries by providing support simply by being there.
Also, there is more room for complicated surgeries.
Clara Sumner, CEO of The Medical Center at Franklin, said: “(The surgery staff) worked in one room for a long time. Now, (the types of surgery) are unlimited to what the surgeon wants to do.”
The hospital addition also adds what is expected to be continued quality care with physicians many in the community already know or are somewhat familiar with.
This is hardly the first improvement at the hospital. Commonwealth Health Corp. bought the hospital in 2000. Since then, it has invested $21 million in the facility, which now has an emergency room staffed by a physician 24 hours a day.
Franklin, thanks to the addition, now has a much better hospital with amenities some smaller communities don’t have.
The city’s citizens are safer, which is the bottom line.
Secondary, however, is industrial recruitment. Access to good health care is an important component to business leaders who look to locate a plant in the area.
More jobs could be part of the hospital expansion as well.
Franklin Mayor Ronnie Clark praised the addition and the presence of the hospital.
“I was not part of the decision to sell (the hospital to CHC). It turned out to be real good for Franklin,” he said. It’s a facility “the community can rely on when we need medical attention. It attracts industry. It has a staff of outstanding physicians.”
Overall, the hospital expansion has made Franklin and Simpson County the winners here.