Letter to the Editor:
Friend of Wilcox County:
As representative of Alabama’s 7th Congressional District, I write with concerns regarding the pending closure of John Paul Jones Hospital in Camden at the end of the month. After 60 years of serving the citizens of Wilcox County, the hospital board has announced that they will have to close at the end of the month if additional resources are not obtained. This hospital doesn’t have to close and we need all hands on deck to save it.
In all of our counties, the relationships between business, education, and healthcare are instrumental in the overall success of the community. It is especially difficult to attract industry and talent to a county without a hospital. This is why I am engaging you and other community and business leaders on the future of John Paul Jones Hospital.
It is my understanding that the financial need to keep the hospital open through September is approximately $200,000 and the annual need is approximately $1.5 million. In addition to the hospital in Camden, the two rural health clinics in Camden and Pine Hill will also close if additional resources aren’t provided. Through payroll alone for its almost 50 employees, the hospital injects $90,000 to $92,000 into the local economy every two weeks.
The nearest hospital from Jones Paul Jones is over 40 miles away. Its closure would create a medical desert in Wilcox County. Many citizens of Wilcox County do not have the resources to travel that distance to access a hospital or emergency room. Further, regardless of one’s resources or income, 40 miles can be the difference between life and death depending on the severity of the person’s emergency. From the mother of a 4-year old girl bitten by a Copperhead snake to the wife of an elderly man with congestive heart failure, I’ve heard from countless constituents who have told …. SEE THE FULL STORY, in this week’s E-edition
Terri A. Sewell
Member of Congress (AL-07)