Officials breaking ground in Centreville for new $21M hospital

Published 12:11am Thursday, March 27, 2014

CENTREVILLE — Officials with Field Memorial Hospital will break ground today on a new $21 million, 60,476-square foot hospital.

The new facility will be at a new location on Mississippi Highway 24, approximately two miles from its current downtown Centreville location. The new location will be downscaling from the current facility by having 16 hospital beds, down from 25, but will continue to provide the same services it does now, Chief Executive Officer Chad Netterville said.

“We are not expanding, we are replacing,” he said.

“From the patient-experience perspective, the ease of finding their way around the hospital will be much improved.”

The expected date for the hospital staff to occupy the new building is October 2015.

In the new facility, the patient floor will be adjacent to the ancillary services area rather than on a splitlevel, Netterville said.

“One example is they will be moved easily from the X-ray area to the patient floor with most of the travel behind the scenes, so there will be more privacy,” he said. “It’s not as private as we would like now.”

The hospital will also add a triage room to the emergency area and will have two waiting rooms, one at the main entrance and one for the emergency department.

“Right now, you might be there waiting for outpatient rehab, and then all of a sudden the waiting room is full because there is an Emergency Department patient there,” Netterville said. “That can make your experience, in some ways, very weird.”

The design of the new building will also allow for the more efficient flow of staff and patient resources throughout the day.

“Our inpatient floor will be adjacent to the emergency department, so we will be able to share staff as needed,” Netterville said. “Right now, our emergency department nurse can find herself in the emergency department alone in the middle of the night, and in the new facility that will not happen.”

The hospital clinic will also be located in the new building, easing access to services, Netterville said.

The current clinic is not attached to the hospital.

The plans to replace the facility, which was built in 1952, have been under way for approximately five years.

“Through the years, (our  building) has been maintained and upkept to the best of our ability, but without investing millions of dollars to bring it to current code, the building has outlived its useful life,” Netterville said. “We are really just being prudent with our dollars.”

Though Amite and Wilkinson counties own the hospital, having purchased it in the 1950s, the hospital receives no public funding. The new construction will be paid for by operations, Netterville said.

The new construction is being funded by a partnership between the hospital, the Hope Enterprise Corporation, Trustmark National Bank, Southern Community Capital, LLC, Community Hospitality Healthcare Services and U.S. Bank. The financing utilizes the U.S. Treasury’s New Markets Tax Credit Program.

“For over a decade, Hope has been financing rural hospitals and clinics,” HOPE CEO Bill Bynum said. “Investments in the health care sector are one of the most effective ways to create good jobs, close the medical service gap in our region and strengthen the business climate.”

The project is expected to generate 150 temporary construction jobs over 18 months. The hospital will retain its current staff.

Field Memorial Hospital opened in 1928 after two brothers, doctors Richard Jennings Field and Samuel E. Field, financed its construction with a $50,000 personal loan.

Amite and Wilkinson counties — Centreville sits in both — jointly purchased the hospital and financed its expansion, which was dedicated in 1952. The hospital provides health care for an estimated 13,000 people.

Netterville said what will ultimately be done to the hospital facility being replaced is still being discussed.