Closed Cherokee Village Hospital Purchased by Local Partnership

FEBRUARY 14, 2005 - Posted at 12:56 p.m. CST

CHEROKEE VILLAGE, AR - Sharp County's only hospital may have new life.

An agreement has been reached between Sharp Medical Foundation and the Eastern Ozarks Regional Health System (EORHS) to purchase the EORHS hospital at Cherokee Village, which closed in November 2004.  The contract allows for a 90-day escrow period, during which a thorough inspection of the facility will be conducted to determine any deficiencies that need to be addressed prior to re-opening.  It is currently anticipated that the facility will be re-opened late this summer, or in the early fall period.

The purchase price for the hospital and the four acres on which it sits, including various additional medical buildings on an adjacent five acres, and an easement along the highway was $4 million.  According to Foundation spokesman Jay Torbit, it is estimated that "an additional $1.5 million will be required to bring the building into conformance with code and other requirements, plus an additional $2.5 million to obtain the equipment to provide the required medical services for a total of $8 million."

The White River Medical Center of Batesville will be a partner in the re-opening and operation of the hospital.  The hospital will be a non-profit community owned facility.  "There will be a strong need for both initial and continuing support on the part of area residents who will be served by the hospital," said Torbit.  "Such support will likely include donations as well as a sales tax increase to fund the re-opening and continuing operation of the hospital."