July 13, 2006

SCMH Women’s Center Dedication Adds Another Asset to Local Healthcare System

Government officials and healthcare professionals joined with the public to welcome the newest addition to the Scotland County community’s medical sector as the $1.3 million Women’s Health Center was unveiled Friday, July 7th at a special ceremony at the hospital complex.

SCMH CEO Marcia Dial welcomed a large crowd to the grand-opening festivities at the state-of-the-art facility located adjacent to the hospital’s medical clinic building.

Dial praised the work of the hospital’s governing board as well as the facility’s staff for working together to make the new facility possible. She also thanked the Missouri Foundation for Health for the grant that helped fund the construction of the addition to the hospital, which greatly expands the hospital’s obstetrics programs.

U.S. Congressman Kenny Hulshof was joined by representatives from the offices of Senator Talent and Senator Bond as well as state representatives Brian Munzlinger and Bob Behnen at the head table for the event. Joining the government officials was MFH President James R. Kimmey along with the hospital board and staff.

“This is not only a great day for Memphis, but a great day for the Missouri Foundation for Health,” Kimmey told the gathering. “We had the opportunity to help a community with a dream, to make that dream come true.”

However, Kimmey stated that the foundation’s resources aren’t great enough to meet the needs of all of rural Missouri, a truth that has been reaffirmed by public forums held by the MFH across the state.

These forums have highlighted needs in areas of mental health, dental care and transportation. Kimmey noted the latter area had been addressed in this region by a previous MFH grant that helped fund the purchase of five ambulances for the northeast Missouri ambulance districts including Clark, Knox, Scotland and Schuyler counties.

The MFH president asked for help from the federal government, urging it to look back 50 years to some of the funding ideas that helped initially build the nation’s rural healthcare system. He stressed that federal funding would ultimately be required to maintain the system and to help fix problems in rural healthcare.

Representative Brian Munzlinger took the podium next and quickly pointed out that SCMH was obviously bucking the trend.

“You watch the news and all we hear about is how rural healthcare is lacking,” Munzlinger said. “I’m glad to see the media here today to report on this event, as these folks have gone against the norm and are continuing to bring improved healthcare to northeast Missouri and southeast Iowa.”

Munzlinger added that he expected to be back in the not-to-distant future.

“Marcia mentioned that this new facility has freed up space in the hospital for other opportunities,” he said. “Knowing how hard these folks work to improve their system, I can’t wait to see what they do with that space.”

SCMH Chief of Staff Dr. Jeff Davis concurred, praising the hospital board and administration for maintaining a progressive approach to bring the new obstetrics center to the healthcare system that already offers numerous services that are not commonly found in rural communities.

“Dr. Dixon and I both did our residencies at Blessing Hospital in Quincy, IL, a much bigger community,” Dr. Davis stated. “I’m proud to say that we have all the same services available here.”

Congressman Hulshof called it a red letter day for the community when a small rural region could offer ever-expanding healthcare options.

Hulshof stated that when he was preparing for his trip to Memphis, several of his colleagues believed that he was going to Memphis, TN.

“That raises the point that one’s healthcare shouldn’t be determined by where one chooses to live,” he said. “The type of healthcare you get shouldn’t be different whether you live in Memphis, MO, Memphis, TN, or Memphis whereever.”

SCMH board president Judy Wilson addressed that same issue when she first relocated to the community from her home near Peoria, IL.

“My parents thought I was moving to Siberia, moving away from the modern conveniences of a more urban life,” she said. “I still don’t think I’ll ever convince them to move here with us, but I can honestly say that we have the facilities and the people to insure they would get the healthcare they have back home.”

Following the public presentations, the guests were provided guided tours of the new facility and then treated to refreshments in the hospital cafeteria.

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