S.M. Promen chosen to reopen Scott County hospital

S.M. Promen chosen to reopen Scott County hospital

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St. Mary's Hospital of Scott County closed in May. St. Mary's Hospital of Scott County closed in May.

HUNTSVILLE (WATE) - Scott County commissioners selected S.M. Promen (Ameris Health Systems) to reopen and operate the county's only hospital, which closed in May.

After hearing proposals from three representatives of the companies on Monday, commissioners decided to meet again Thursday at 5 p.m., before making a choice.

Commissioners chose S.M. Promen over Pioneer Medical Services and Alliant Management.

The proposal will lease the hospital in Oneida from the county and operate on a for-profit basis.

"All I do is stay at home and draw unemployment," said Betsy Jones, a former Scott County Hospital lab tech who was thinking about moving to find a job. Jones, at the meeting, said she now plans to stay and get a job under the new management.

6 News was told the new hospital will function at a much higher level than the original one. It'll be an acute-care facility. That means they'll have more beds, longer patient stays, and they'll also be able to take in more serious medical cases.

"It'll be a greater volume of patients," said Irving B. Sawyer Jr., president of S.M. Promen.

That could translate to more employment once they are fully set up in the community.

"By our present budget, we'll hire 140 staff within the first 6-8 months," Sawyer explained.

They'll open about 90 days after the deal with the county is done. Exactly when that is, is still up in the air. Many, like Betsy, excited at the prospect of going back to work sometime in the future.

"I'm really looking forward to getting back to work," Jones said.

St. Mary's Hospital of Scott County closed after the county's contract with former operator HMA ran out and was not renewed.

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