How a hospital closure affected a Tennessee town

While hospital closures in rural communities affect healthcare access, they also present economic challenges for small towns, including Celina, Tenn., according to NPR.

Celina's 25-bed Cumberland River Hospital — which served a town of 1,500 residents — closed March 1 due to financial struggles.

The hospital was the town's second-largest employer, and nearly 150 workers were laid off when it closed..

The town  has tried to attract retirees,but with the hospital closure, Celina is not an optimum destination for seniors with health problems, Susan Scovel, a Seattle transplant, told NPR.

"I'd say, look elsewhere," said Ms. Scovel, who heads up the local chamber of commerce effort to attract retirees.

Residents now must  travel about 18 miles to get to the closest hospital in Livingston, Tenn., which costs precious time in an emergency. Two of the area's four ambulance trucks are  out of service.

Some residents are concerned that the hospital closure will mean losing the only three physicians in town, according to NPR.

Access the full NPR report here.

 

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