Calhoun Liberty Hospital set to receive $3 million in hurricane relief

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By: Alicia Turner | WCTV Eyewitness News
May 6, 2019

BLOUNTSTOWN, Fla. (WCTV) -- After Hurricane Michael, help from organizations like the National Guard came in droves. But, their work stopped the bleeding only temporarily.

“It's been a struggle. Not only are our employees coming together to make sure we continue to meet the needs of our community, but they're also dealing with what's going on at home trying to repair things there or even rebuild," said Tonya Smith with Calhoun Liberty Hospital.

The Florida Legislature is hoping to alleviate some of the stress. The state allocated $3 million to the hospital to help get it back on its feet.

"My prayers have been answered," said Lula Allen, a Blountstown resident.

Allen is one of many in the area who is well aware of how crucial the hospital is to the community. She lives just across the street and explained that when she’s sick, it's where she feels comfortable.

"When I’m sick I want to be able to go to that hospital because they are very good to me. I love it. I love the people over there," she said.

Pearl, also a resident of Blountstown, added, “It's really important for this neighborhood because all we've got right here is just a few doctors.”

Calhoun Liberty Hospital serves as one of the only emergency rooms available to people in the area for 50 miles in any direction.

"We have to provide emergency care to people who have it because they can have it within a few minutes, versus an hour drive," Smith said.

Since the storm, portions of the hospital have been closed off and offices were moved. A building that could once could hold up to 25 patients in-house can now only see 10.

"We need help around here," Pearl said.

Allen added, "I think it's great. I’m so excited."

The hospital said while it waits on the funding to be dispersed, it is also working closely with FEMA and the insurance company to secure additional funding.

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