The people speak: Wilcox votes to keep hospital open

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 7, 2007

There’s good news in Wilcox County concerning healthcare.

Residents voted in the general election last year to increase their property taxes so they could help sustain J. Paul Jones Hospital.

The next closest hospital is about an hour’s drive away.

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Hospital employees say the need for the facility is critical.

Residents agreed, imposing a three mills property tax that takes effect Oct. 1 of this year.

The hospital is one of only two independent facilities still operating in the state – the other is in Centerville.

Employees and members of the hospital’s board of directors said the reason the hospital is still open is because of good fiscal management, and the personal service staff members give patients.

JPJH has a helicopter pad and patients in need of specialized treatments can be flown out within 30 minutes to either Birmingham, Montgomery or Mobile.

The people of Wilcox County voted, and made the decision to keep this facility open.

Healthcare is a major concern in many areas of the country, including Alabama’s Black Belt.

Keeping JPJH open ensures that Wilcox County residents continue to be able to receive emergency care when needed. And those residents are the ones who made the choice.