It’s time to move on from NRMC demise

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The people of Natchez deserve better than the debacle surrounding Natchez Regional Medical Center’s demise.

Although unlikely, we wish those responsible for leading the hospital into bankruptcy two times and forcing its sale are held accountable.

However, we as a community — for the good of our community — move on.

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The once-revered hospital was a leader in health care in southwest Mississippi and beyond for many years. Natchez Regional was built on the backs of Natchez community members, who came together in 1955 to lobby the Adams County Board of Supervisors to support a new hospital here.

The state’s first intensive coronary care unit was developed in 1966, led by Dr. Clifford Tillman, at what was then Jefferson Davis Memorial Hospital.

The hospital’s name was changed to Natchez Regional Medical Center in 1993 to better reflect its position in southwest Mississippi.

The county-owned hospital served us well for more than 50 years. For the benefit of all of us, we should support the new owners of Natchez Regional Medical Center and hope they will continue to operate the hospital in a way that benefits our community.

Mostly, however, we hope the employees of the hospital are not forgotten. They have continued to provide quality health care while suffering through hideously poor management and broken promises. The employees’ retirement benefits should be preserved and the Adams County Board of Supervisors should take it upon themselves to make certain that happens. The same goes for any unpaid health insurance claims of Natchez Regional employees.

Likewise, preserving the hospital’s records — financial and otherwise — is critical.

For posterity’s sake, if nothing else, those records belong to the people of Adams County. Beyond historical records, however, if an allegation of wrongdoing by former management is ever investigated, having the records will be vital to either proving guilt or innocence.