New hospital opens in Senatobia after area goes without service for three years

Grand opening for new facility scheduled for September
Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 5:32 PM CDT
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SENATOBIA, Miss. (WMC) - When North Oak Regional Medical Center closed its doors in mid-2018, a vital service was taken from Senatobia and Tate County.

“A lot of people in this county are 45 minutes to an hour away, at least, from an emergency room,” said Joshua Hammons. “I mean, if you have a stroke, if you have a heart attack, those minutes count.”

Now under a new name, Delta Health Highland Hills Hospital held a soft opening Thursday at the same facility that closed three years ago, and Hammons is the new chief administrative officer.

The facility features six emergency room beds with an additional 15 in-patient care rooms.

Services feature a 24/7 emergency room, full-service lab services, and diagnostic procedures which include CT scans, X-rays and ultrasounds.

Hammons said at full-staff the hospital will employ around 65 people. He says it won’t take long to begin looking toward the future of the hospital, such as surgery, that could bring more jobs and more services to the city and county.

“We are open and ready to take care of patients right now,” Hammons said.

This, of course, is an exciting moment for county leaders like Tate County Board of Supervisors President Tony Sandridge.

“This is going to be a great relief for our first responders, our public, our citizens here,” the Sandridge said. “We get a second chance at having something good here.”

Delta Health System is a local company based in Greenville that started in 2020.

Even during a pandemic, CEO Scott Christensen said the health system has the resources to expand their reach. Already, they’ve expanded to Northwest Regional Medical Center in Clarksdale and now Highland Hills in Senatobia.

“The responsibilities we face with patients that come to us at some of the most vulnerable time in their life, it’s our responsibility. It’s our job. It’s what we do, so that’s why I say I’ve been confident all along that this isn’t a problem for us,” Christensen said.

To handle the COVID-19 pandemic, medically, Hammons said the facility and its staff can take in most cases.

“Our nurses are seasoned nurses,” Hammons said. “We’ll be able to handle the majority of COVID cases here.”

Sandridge said a local feel to healthcare is now back in the area, and they’ve missed being able to say that.

“When you’re at home, your faces are familiar,” Sandridge said. “The doctors and nurses are more familiar with their patients. You know, it’s that good ol’ country feeling, and it’s always good to have somebody that’s taking care of you that you know of.”

“Healthcare done locally is best,” Christensen said. “We have the autonomy to operate how we want to operate and provide the services here, we ‘re really proud of that.”

The grand opening of the facility is set for September, but by the time we were getting ready to leave, the hospital had already admitted its first patient.

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