From staff and press reports
On April 28, as doctors, nurses and other staff at Winston Medical Center continued to keep patients safe and save lives, the Winston Medical Center building and adjacent medical clinics were hit hard by the EF4 tornado.
Local leaders, Gov. Phil Bryant, the state of Mississippi, and FEMA and stepped into action and setup to move a temporary mobile hospital to the area.
The temporary hospital has been brought in from North Carolina and over the next two weeks will be setup behind the Teters building on South Church Street.
Local leaders aim to get WMC staff members operating the temporary hospital in about a month.
“We will have to train our employees on the new setup, get computers moved in once they have it setup,” said Paul Black, CEO of Winston Medical Center. “The main thing is getting full medical care back in Winston County.”
Presently, healthcare needs are being addressed in the county with a mobile medical unit from UMC set up behind Teters on South Church and from the reestablishing of doctors at area clinics.
Dr. Sam Suttle and Dr. Glenn Peters with Louisville Medical Associates have established two clinics with one at 404 W. Main which opened Monday, May 4 and a second clinic at 547 East Main which was set to open May 7.
Dr. Michael Ard is presently working out of the Noxapater Clinic.
The work on the modular hospital continues with Gov. Bryant, Mayor Will Hill and others recognizing the work on Monday, May 6.
“Returning to normalcy means having a hospital. So you see behind us we are going to have a hospital,” Gov. Bryant said as construction crews were placing the modular hospital together.
“This is the first time this unit has been used and Mississippi is again making history. Particularly the way we decided to do so but the way we must do so,” Gov. Bryant said.
The FEMA hospital will have five beds. Health officials say nearly 200 seniors and psychiatric patients will need to continue using outside facilities.
The next step for the temporary hospital will be getting the new facility hooked up to water, sewage and electricity, FEMA officials said.
Gov. Bryant expects the legislature to consider emergency funding in the near future.
Gov. Bryant noted that the state is already looking at $8.5 million price tag to match the federal aid from the April 28 tornadoes.
The National Weather Service has counted 23 tornadoes that touched down across the state that day.
Bryant also lauded the performance of Louisville Mayor Will Hill and Winston County officials for all their efforts.
Jim Craig, Mississippi’s Director of Health noted that Winston Countians pulled together and cleared more than 100 truckloads of debris from the Teters back parking lot so that the mobile emergency hospital could begin setting up.
Mississippi Emergency Management Director Robert Latham says more than 1,400 people have already registered for federal disaster assistance and many more are expected.
Winston County Clinic formerly near Eiland Plaza
Due to the recent tornado loss of the Winston County Family Medical Clinic d/b/a/ Greater Meridian Health Clinic, Inc., medical services will be directed to their clinics; Kemper Family Medical located at 201 Birch St., DeKalb, MS; Oktibbeha Family Medical Center, 105 Felix Long Drive, Starkville, MS; and Shuqualak-Noxubee Health Clinic, 201 Mulberry Street, Shuqualak, MS.
You may call 601-693-0118, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for hours of operation or to schedule an appointment.