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WEB EXTRA: Baptist Crittenden In West Memphis Is Closer To Opening

WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. (localmemphis.com) - No more traveling across the Mississippi River to Memphis for Crittenden County, Arkansas, ambulances. Baptist Memorial Hospital Crittenden is less than five months away from opening.

Baptist Crittenden administrator and CEO Brian Welton invited Local 24 to take a tour of the hospital, which is located at 2100 North 7th Street in West Memphis, just north of I-40.

Construction is moving along on the 65,000 square foot facility.  There will be 11 inpatient beds and 10 emergency rooms. There will also be two trauma rooms, two operating rooms, one endoscopy suite, and eight cancer-infusion chairs.

The project costs $45-million total.

When Crittenden Regional Hospital closed in 2014 because of financial struggles, voters approved a 1-cent sales tax, which is being used to pay for the new hospital. The tax is expected to generate about $30-million during its 5-year duration.

Crittenden County Judge Woody Wheeless fought hard for the new hospital. He hopes former employees of Crittenden Regional will apply for a job at the new hospital, which Baptist will staff and operate.

During the four years without a hospital, Crittenden County ambulances would have to take patients across the Mississippi River to Memphis to get emergency care. First responders and their patients would sometimes have to wait for hours to be seen, because Memphis hospitals are so busy.

Baptist Memorial Hospital Crittenden is scheduled to open December 3rd of this year.

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