NRMC video advocates hospital sale
NATCHEZ —Natchez Regional Medical Center leaders told members of the business community Wednesday the hospital will not survive without a partner.
Hospital leaders presented their message in a new promotional video unveiled to the Rotary Club of Natchez.
The hospital’s medical staff also viewed the 15-minute presentation Wednesday night.
The video features local doctors, elected officials, former Natchez mayor Tony Byrne and other local leaders promoting the benefits of selling the hospital.
“Of course it is up to the board of supervisors how far we go, but I think it is probably time for the hospital to be sold,” Byrne said in the video.
Adams County owns Natchez Regional and county supervisors have begun the process of trying to find a buyer for the facility. A public hearing on the matter will be 10 a.m. Wednesday.
Natchez Inc. director Chandler Russ and Adams County Board of Supervisors president Darryl Grennell are also featured. Both stressed the importance of a strong medical center and the “domino effect” that could be created by finding the right partner for the hospital.
Local physicians Ed Daly and Frank Guedon and other Guedon family members who work in health care are also featured in the video.
The presentation also reviews many of the past accomplishments of the hospital, including the advancements in cardiac care, neonatal medicine and digital mammography.
NRMC CEO Bill Heburn said the video will primarily be shown to prospective buyers, but it will also be shown to the public at civic organizations and on the hospital’s Facebook page.
Heburn said the goal of the video is to demonstrate that Natchez Regional has been and wants to continue to be the region’s health care leader.
“We were the dominant medical center 40 years ago,” Heburn said after the presentation. “Now that has slowly deteriorated.”
The only way to survive and thrive is finding a partner that can provide the hospital with additional funds, Heburn said.
“Finding a partner will make Natchez Regional a far more dynamic and financially strong hospital,” Heburn said.
Selling the hospital has the potential to increase the number of the physicians in the area by 40 to 50 and create 1,000 new jobs, the narrator of the video said.
The hospital currently has 43 doctors and employs more than 400 workers.
The video concludes with a vision of the 53-year-old hospital being replaced by a rendering of a new modern facility on the same property.
“We can build (a new hospital) on the same site,” Heburn said.
Heburn said it is realistic to think that a new facility that takes advantage of the latest in health care can be built around the existing building.
“We can build it in 2 to 2 1/2 years and then raze the old hospital,” Heburn said.
But most important is finding a partner with capital, Heburn said.
It is the only way to “invest in our hospital, enrich our community and make Natchez Regional Medical Center thrive,” the video said.