Gadsden County residents have kept their fingers crossed over the past few months after learning the emergency wing of the hospital will open to treat patients. Some of those dates though have come and gone.
County officials have now set a firm date for next month. Two ambulances are at a nursing home in Gadsden County where an elderly woman is being transported to Tallahassee Memorial for medical help.
This has become a common sight for residents after the hospital closed its doors in November of 2005. The Agency for Health Care Administration issued a suspension of license, calling the hospital a "threat to public safety.
Lloyd Castleberry said, "I have to take my wife to Tallahassee Memorial emergency room three times this year and it's always in the early morning hours. She has these problems with the placement and you need something closer in this area.”
Come December 18 the emergency wing of the hospital will open to area residents. It will serve as an urgent care facility.
Ralph Butler said, "I feel really glad about it because let's say someone has a heart attack or stroke. By the time they get to Tallahassee they will pass away."
The urgent care facility will operate like a physician’s office. Patients will be able to get help with minor emergencies and other health related issues.
Corey Fleming said, "We aren't able to provide the services comparable to emergency center for severe cases. They will still have to go to a tertiary care center like Tallahassee Memorial."
County officials say their final goal is to open the entire hospital in the very near future.
Hospital officials are still looking to fill several vacancies including nurses, medical assistants, group coordinator, and radiology technicians.