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TRHS continues to explore options for Cook Medical Center replacement facility
02/15/2017

Tift Regional Health System (TRHS) has been in discussions with Cook County officials since 2015 on the development of a replacement facility for Cook Medical Center in Adel and was recently approached by officials from the City of Hahira to discuss the possibility of relocating the hospital to the city of Hahira.

Cook Medical Center CEO Michael Purvis said that the meeting held on Feb. 10 with the City of Hahira, the Downtown Development Authority of Hahira and the Hahira Merchant’s Association on a possible relocation of the hospital was at their invitation, contrary to some initial media reports, and was an informal discussion to explore options.   Purvis stated that TRHS is still having on-going dialogue with Cook County officials.

“The Hahira representatives reached out to us, so we went to hear what they had to say,” said Purvis.  “They are forward thinking and we appreciate their interest.  It is our duty to explore all avenues.  This does not mean a deal in Cook County is out-of-the-question.  We appreciate the due diligence of the Cook County Board of Commissioners, the City of Adel, the Cook County Economic Development Commission and the Adel Industrial Development Authority.  They are being responsible stewards and we will continue working with them on different options.”

Finding a suitable location for a Cook Medical Center replacement facility and receiving financial assistance from the city and county to offset the growing expense of indigent and charitable care for the community has been the focal point of these conversations.   TRHS is also seeking aid from the county in a land/facility use project for the current hospital and nursing home facilities once the replacement facility is completed.

Changes in the healthcare landscape, which are affecting rural hospitals across the state and country, is why Tift Regional Health System is working on a new delivery model for health care in Cook County.  TRHS recently announced that Cook Medical Center will be closing its emergency room on Feb. 28 and will be offering a new after-hours clinic for minor injuries and illnesses on March 1.   According to Purvis, about 95 percent of Cook Medical Center’s ER patients were non-emergent.

“By opening a new convenient care clinic in Adel for minor medical issues and sending emergency patients to the closest, appropriate ER, we will be able to offer a more appropriate level of care for the community,” said Purvis.  “We have to adapt in order to thrive in the future.  If we can secure assistance from the city and county, we can build a new contemporary facility, which will continue to provide important medical services such as primary care, geriatric psychiatric care, skilled rehabilitation, diagnostic services and introduce new services such as ambulatory surgery. “