Renovate or Rebuild?

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Jackson Hospital in Marianna was built 30 years ago. It is not always the hospital of choice for the community it serves.

Hospital officials want to change that.

David Hample has been the CEO of Jackson Hospital in Marianna for the past six months. He sees the changes in the Panhandle and knows Jackson Hospital has to keep up.

The hospital's board of trustees is considering building a new facility or updating the current hospital on a site with very little room for expansion.

"As we recruit physicians to this community, what will those physicians expect from us from both physicians and facilities? What are they going to need to give the care that they need to give?" says Hample.

Jackson Hospital is currently licensed for 100 beds but only operates 66. One reason is many of the rooms are now being used as storage.

"The current hospital has got so much more equipment than the hospital of 30 years ago,” Hample says.

Another reason is public attitude.

According to hospital officials, one out every two babies born to Jackson County families are born in hospitals outside of the county.

"We need to know what that's all about and we need to change that. If it's perception, we need to change that perception. If it's a reality, then there's something about what we do or how we do it that women should have us change. We need to understand what that is and get on with it,” Hample adds.

Jackson Hospital is currently working with consultants and an architect to come up with the plan for the hospital’s future.

Hospital officials say whatever the outcome; they plan to explore a number of resources including local, state and federal agencies to pay for the project.

The hospital's board of trustees plans to announce whether or not they will build a new facility within the next 90 days.