Stone County Medical Center to use well-needed $1.5 million

MOUNTAIN VIEW, AR (KAIT) - Last year 60% of the Stone County Medical Center was destroyed by the February 5th tornado.

"The emergency room was totally demolished so the surgery center is housing both surgery and the emergency room," said Stone County Medical Center Administrator Renie Taylor.

A grant from the Economic Development Association will help them move forward.

"This will allow us, along with our insurance proceeds, to build it back even bigger and better to what it was before," said White River Medical Systems CEO Gary Bebow.

The staff works in the remaining building that has 12 patient beds, down from 25 they had before.

"That's not sufficient to accommodate our patients' needs.  Many times we have to transfer them to other areas," said Taylor.

Groundbreaking for the new hospital should happen in May and it is something everyone is ready for.

"It will allow us to bring the technology and an in-patient facility that is really state of the art for a town that size in Arkansas," said Bebow.

"We will be able to provide the local citizens with outpatient services that either they do not have available now or we can expand what we currently have," said Taylor.

Taylor said they've been polling physicians for what new services they would like to have.  Currently those doctors are working out of modular units because their clinic was also hit by the tornado and is currently under reconstruction.  They hope to have it open by the end of June.

This grant was made possible with the help of the Congressional delegation from Arkansas including Congresswoman Blanche Lincoln, Congressman Mark Pryor, and Representative Marion Berry.