Bad break for hospital

Newton County caught a terrible break in late December. We were hopeful that when Lackey Memorial Hospital purchased some of the businesses of Pioneer Health Services that it might include the former Pioneer Community Hospital of Newton.

Ascentium Healthcare Resources officials, however, informed us that while they will continue to operate the Newton Family and Pediatric Clinic, they are not acquiring any property in Newton County.

Now that the hospital has sat empty for nearly two years, the likelihood of anyone purchasing the property continues to diminish. And with federal and state funding from Medicaid unlikely to change in the near future, we may have to change our perspective from trying to find a tenant for the hospital to doing our best to improve emergency response.

Anything we can do to invest in our fire and EMS could go a long way to helping to attract new industry and support businesses here now.