Good news for Winston County, their only hospital, which was scheduled to close at the end of the month, will now stay open.
Some called it the impossible but thanks to several people coming together, the city with the help of so many others, were able to save Lakeland Community Hospital.
Will Walker and Donald Bray who live in Haleyville describe the changing fate of the hospital closing as a roller coaster ride.
“Not knowing and then the depths of possible closure, and to the point where it could be saved,” said Will Walker who lives in Halleyville.
“I had a stroke. Without this hospital and this facility, you know I might have not made it through,” said Donald Bray who lives in Halleyville.
It was a matter of life or death for many. Haleyville's mayor said getting two extensions gave them the time they needed to explore all avenues.
“At first it was really devastating, you know it really takes a lot of hard work. Realizing the importance of the hospital I knew we had to take action and take it immediately,” said Mayor Ken Sunsuri.
The mayor said the Haleyville and Winston County Hospital Authority will own Lakeland Community Hospital and Java Medical Group will operate it.
“There is team work involved, that it does take persistence and a lot of hard work,” said Walker.
The one-cent sales tax recently approved to help with hospital debt is an example of the community doing their part, but some think more needs to be done to keep the hospital afloat.
“Make sure that they send the ones who are sick, that need to go to the hospital, that they choose local first if at all possible,” said Walker.
On March 31st, Mayor Sunseri said ownership and management for the hospital will officially change.
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