Stone County Medical Center on the Road to Recovery

MOUNTAIN VIEW, AR (KAIT) -- Storm storm-ravaged communities across parts of Region 8 begin the road to recovery.  As we've told you over the past week, one of the hardest hit areas is Stone County.  The Stone County Medical Center and several doctors' offices received heavy damage, but rebuilding efforts are well underway.

A lot has changed in the last six days for the staff of the Stone County Medical Center.  Their building is in pieces after Tuesday's tornado.

"It's pretty devastating but I think we've already begun to recover and have a fully functioning ER except for some services and I think we've done a great job getting back on our feet already," said Nursing Services Director Diana Shelden.

The emergency wing is badly damaged.  The side wall of the wing was blown out and left open.  Tarps cover the exposed area, but right now the area is not functioning so some changes have had to be made.

"We never stopped providing emergency services.  We moved our emergency services from our emergency department to the surgical center wing and today we continue to provide emergency services," said Tony Thompson, White River Medical Center Ancillary Services.

A mitigation team is on the hospital campus using heat and dehumidifiers to try prevent further damage to the building or equipment.

While many hospital services are currently unavailable no one is losing their job.  All of the 150 employees are being taken care of.

"Part of the nursing staff has been deployed to the White River Medical Center to take some positions here and part of the medical staff has stayed at Stone County Medical Center that are staffing the emergency room," said Shelden.

What is most important for everyone is regaining some normalcy.

"A lot of patients don't want to leave Mountain View.  They want to stay there for their medical care," said Shelden.

A mobile unit is supposed to be in Mountain View on the hospital campus by the middle of the week that will allow Dr. Simpson, Dr. Bishop, and Dr. Anandaraj "Andy" Subramanuim to start seeing patients at a centralized location.

No timetable has been set for the repairs.  They want to try to get people back into the hospital as soon as possible.  White River Medical Services CEO Gary Bebow says the repairs to the most damaged areas could take as long as a year to complete.