EDITORIAL: Critical care



Healthcare, proper, professional and polite healthcare is so very critical to a community.

Your Clarksdale Press Register has a special section this week on Northwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center that tells a little about and the physicians and staff of our hospital.

We planned this special edition for January, but things got in the way and it has finally all come together this week for publication and presentation to you. We firmly believe today’s edition is providential.

Our hospital has gone through a lot

The bankruptcy of Curae in 2018 sent a shiver through this community. Doctors, nurses, medical technicians and staff were even led to believe they might not get paid. Healthcare is the Number Two employer in this county, providing 1,540 jobs in 2019. Healthcare is a major industry in Coahoma County.

It has been estimated that almost half of the state’s 64 rural hospitals are at risk of closing or at least not profitable.

We want to thank Coahoma County Supervisors for steadying the ship, monitoring this situation and signing a lease with CHS that has put Northwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center on a new path.

It would be easy to talk federal healthcare programs and the state turning down Medicaid expansion. We will just say rural healthcare in this country is changing and our leaders need to vigilant and our community needs to support our hospital.

It is obvious past leaders had a vision for guarding our hospital and made plans -- in the form of a lucrative lease -- to ensure a hospital would be available to this community.

Leadership has done their part.

Now it is up to the community to do their part.

We urge those in need of healthcare to shop Clarksdale first. Sure, if you need a specialist in Memphis or Oxford, go and get well. But please consider local doctors and our local hospital first.

Northwest Mississippi Region Medical Center has changed a lot over the past 24 months. Many things have changed and this newspaper would like to focus on a future that looks so much better.

And as this community grinds through the current coronavirus crisis, we hope the people of Clarksdale and Coahoma County -- now more than ever -- realize how critical our hospital is to our quality of life.