JACKSON - On Tuesday evening, September 24, West Tennessee Healthcare's Board of Trustees approved a resolution for $5,576,425 for renovation and expansion of the emergency department located at Milan General Hospital. The emergency department renovation will expand the department from 6 beds to 10 beds, improve patient flow, renovate trauma space, and add additional square footage to the existing facility. Completion of the project is expected in the first quarter of 2021.
Milan General Hospital also offers inpatient and outpatient services, such as surgical services, lab and radiology services, and an Intensive Care Unit. Expanding the emergency department in Milan is necessary for providing access to much needed quality healthcare for the citizens of Gibson County and the surrounding area.
In order to increase efficiency in providing emergency services for the county, the organization will be closing the emergency room, outpatient lab, and radiology services currently located at Humboldt Medical Center, and consolidating these services with the existing services provided at Milan and North Hospital in Jackson. Milan General Hospital's emergency department is located 12 miles from the Humboldt Medical Center, and North Hospital's emergency department is located only 8 miles from the Humboldt Medical Center. West Tennessee Healthcare also operates emergency departments in Bolivar, Camden, Dyersburg, Martin, and Jackson-Madison County General Hospital.
North Hospital, formerly known as Regional Hospital of Jackson, was acquired by West Tennessee Healthcare in 2018, and currently operates a 16-bed emergency department, as well as outpatient services, such as lab and radiology, and advanced services such as interventional radiology services. There are also plans to further expand the services at North Hospital to provide for high quality orthopedic services.
The emergency department in Humboldt has been operating as a department of Jackson-Madison County General Hospital since the closure of the Humboldt General Hospital in 2014. Emergency department visits in Humboldt have dropped significantly over the past 5 years and the majority of emergencies are transferred to Jackson-Madison County General Hospital or other larger facilities in the region. According to West Tennessee Healthcare President and CEO, James Ross said the decision was made after many months of review of the utilization of services at Humboldt Medical Center, and they believe it is the best decision for financial sustainability for the future and to improve healthcare services offered in Gibson County.
The Humboldt Medical Center will continue to be home to the Thomas D. Dunlap conference center, Sports + Rehab Center, which offers outpatient physical therapy and aquatic therapy, and A Mother's Love, a program for pregnant women battling opioid addiction. The existing facility is being evaluated in order to determine which additional services are needed in the community and are appropriate for the Humboldt Medical Center campus.
Ross said the goal is for no employee to become unemployed. They want to retain all employees who wish to stay with WTH and will support them as they seek other jobs in the health care system. They are restructuring and expanding emergency services in Gibson County in order to better utilize existing facilities, Humboldt Medical Center and Milan General Hospital, in the most efficient and effective way.