Rural Tennessee hospital reopens under new owner

Despite many rural hospitals closing for good nationwide for financial reasons, Haywood County Memorial Hospital in Tennessee recently reopened, radio station WPLN reported Aug. 21. 

The hospital was previously owned by Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems, which has been shedding its ownership of rural facilities, according to WPLN

It is now owned by Lexington, Tenn.-based Braden Health, a system that recently purchased several rural hospitals across the state. 

Haywood County Memorial Hospital is in need of repairs and is currently operating only through its clinic attached to the emergency room until the hospital receives final licensing. It was originally slated to open in January. 

Issues of mold, graffiti and other deterioration of the facility put off the original reopening. 

"This building sat here for six or seven years with no air circulation, no water in the lines; everything just deteriorates," Barry Dunagan, who was in charge of the hospital's maintenance before it closed and is back in that role, told the news station. "It takes a world of work to ever get it back."

For now, the hospital plans to offer nine patient beds with a goal of operating 49 once it receives licensing approval. 

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