Familiar faces give merit to new name

Published 12:05 am Thursday, May 21, 2015

With the punch of a corporate finger over a computer key, news instantly spread across the world this week that Natchez Regional Medical Center and Natchez Community Hospital are no more.

Owners of Natchez’s two hospitals are fast working to consolidate them into a single facility, and the renaming of the two facilities into Merit Health Natchez and Merit Health Natchez — Community Campus is merely part of that effort.

We’re saddened slightly by the name change, but not surprised. As much as it will be difficult for all of us to begin calling the hospitals by different names — and it may take years before the new names stick — we realize the new name is probably for the best.

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Decades of health care wars — at times largely civil, at other times quite vicious — meant keeping either name would have caused concerns among some residents.

The name Merit Health doesn’t feel familiar and local yet, but perhaps that will come over time. For now, it feels a bit foreign and corporate, but the good news is that for the most part all of the familiar faces of those who have been working at each hospital through the years remain employed, serving patients and providing care.

A sense of familiarity gives credibility and, pardon the pun, merit, to the hospital regardless of the name on the sign outside.