ONEIDA, Tenn. (WATE) — The only hospital in Scott County reopened Tuesday after being closed for more than a year.
Big South Fork Medical Center unveiled new signs and opened its doors to patients early Tuesday morning.
It was picked up by Pioneer after it closed in 2012 and closed again in July 2016 when the company declared bankruptcy.
Rennova Health closed on the sale back in January.
For many the reopening is allowing them to breathe a sigh of relief.
“We’ve had two or three people that have had to be airlifted to Knoxville because there was nowhere for them to come here,” said Pastor Steve Hodges. “We’re just very thankful that these folks have put this all together and worked so hard to make it all happen.”
Pharmacy Director Steve Leeds has a personal connection to the hospital and called the reopening vindication.
“My dad was one of the founders of the hospital,” he said. “When I was five years old I would accompany my father over here when he’d make rounds on patients, so when it closed I felt like a part of my life died.”
The hospital houses about 25 patient beds, a 24/7 emergency room, and is aiming to offer surgical services by this fall.
“We’ve hired about 100 employees that brings about $5 million worth of wages to the area,” CEO Tony Taylor said.
The hospital is still taking job applications through their Facebook page.
Rennova is setting its sights on its future here.
“We are entirely different. Our goal is to provide excellent care in the community and confidence,” said Dr. Thomas Mendolia, part owner of Rennova.
The community is hoping the company will achieve those goals.
“Right now it’s kind of well maybe it’ll work, maybe it won’t, maybe it’ll stay, and maybe it won’t, and I think as this continues to be a success people will say hey this is really really good,” Hodges said.