Hospital License Negotiations Terminated

There have been new moves by county commissioners to reopen the Gadsden Community Hospital.

Gadsden County commissioners have asked Ashford Healthcare, Inc. to transfer the operating license for the Gadsden Community Hospital over to them, but to no avail.

The county has decided to pursue getting its own license.

Brenda Holt, Gadsden County Commissioner, says, "This may be a great opportunity to improve health care, so once we've jumped through all of these hoops and done everything necessary to provide good health care, we look to have excellent health care in Gadsden County."

The Agency for Health Care Administration, or AHCA, closed the hospital on several violations in November 2005, leaving many residents to travel elsewhere.

Bessie Scott Stephens Hall, a Gadsden County resident, says, "I got 45 stitches in me from breast surgery two weeks ago and I had to go way to Tallahassee. Then I got sick and my son was sick. I had to go way to the emergency room."

Commissioners say getting a new license could prove costly and timely, but negotiations with Ashford are terminated.

Ed Dixon, Chairman of the Gadsden County Commission, says, "We are currently working with a couple of entities on the urgent care facility. We do not know exactly how long the court proceedings on the termination of the lease or the certificate of need process will take, but we will continue discussions with AHCA."

Dixon says the board is considering a mobile unit to provide health needs, while it waits to get the license and reopen the hospital.