Monday, September 26, 2011

Cairo megaclinic to transform into hospital

CAIRO, IL (KRCU) - Cairo, Illinois is a step closer to having a hospital once again.

Community Health & Emergency Service, Inc. is going to expand its megaclinic in Cairo to include 16 beds and an emergency room. It will also open a diagnostic center.

The project is funded by a three million dollar grant from the state of Illinois.

Fred Bernstein is the CEO of Community Health & Emergency Services. He says this region of southern Illinois has few options for health care.

"The most isolated region is the one that we’re operating in … the two southernmost counties of Alexander and Pulaski, where there’s very little other than what we provide in terms of primary care," Bernstein said.

Bernstein says the project will create approximately 90 new jobs at the hospital.

Cairo mayor Tyrone Coleman hopes the hospital will spur economic development in the struggling community.

"You know businesses, when they come into a community, that’s one of the areas that they look at," Coleman said. "Your medical services, school system, police department, fire department, those kinds of things. We’re just hoping this will bring more than just the hospital itself."

Cairo’s hospital closed in 1986 and a free standing emergency room shut its doors in 1989. The town has not had an emergency service since. The Alexander County ambulance service takes patients forty minutes away to hospitals in Cape Giraredeau and Paducah for emergency service.

Berstein says the clinic is tentatively scheduled to open in the late summer of 2013.

Jacob McCleland, KRCU


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