West Memphis hospital ready to open its doors

West Memphis hospital ready to open its doors
Baptist Memorial Hospital-Crittenden is set to take in its first patients in December. (Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The Mid-South’s newest hospital is set to open soon.

For years, people in Crittenden County, Arkansas, have been without their own hospital, but that will soon change.

Baptist Memorial Hospital-Crittenden, located in West Memphis, hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday.

Hospital leaders gave WMC Action News 5 a tour of the hospital as crews entered the final stages of construction.

The hospital includes 11 patient rooms, 10 emergency rooms, a cancer center, two operating rooms, and two trauma rooms.

Residents said this has been much-needed ever since the Crittenden Regional Hospital closed in 2014, leaving the area without a hospital of its own--forcing paramedics to rush patients across the Mississippi River to Memphis.

That would tie up those medics for up to six hours depending on the circumstances.

“It’s a great facility and it’s been needed for a long time,” said Marion resident Carol Burdison.

Hospital construction is now finished, and the hospital should start receiving its first patients in early December.

Local Judge Woody Wheeless is credited with leading the effort to bring a hospital back. He championed a sales tax increase that voters overwhelmingly approved, helping clear the way for Baptist to build the new state-of-the art facility.

“We’ve achieved something that I really didn’t believe that we could achieve to be honest with you but I do believe by partnering, working hard and never giving up, I think the possibilities are endless and that’s why we’re where we’re at today,” Judge Wheeless said.

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