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Bloom updates county on hospital

Jeff Davis Hospital CEO Barry Bloom met with the County Commission last Tuesday to give the commissioners an update on the hospital.
Bloom explained that the hospital had an economic impact on the community of over $27 million and employs 241 people making it the third largest employer in the county.
Bloom expressed pride in the fact the hospital is now offering a much broader range of services, adding that the hospital had purchased $460,000 worth of property to help with the hospital’s growth as they have outgrown their current space. He said they are currently recruiting two new physicians, a psychologist and a primary care physician.
Bloom said he is proudest of the world class reaction the hospital had responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a critical care hospital, Jeff Davis Hospital does not usually keep severe medical cases but, due to the lack of bed space across the state, they are having to care for them in Hazlehurst. Bloom said some patients had to be transferred to surrounding states and as far as West Virginia.
Bloom said 152 of the COVID cases treated at the hospital were severe enough to require hospitalization. “We are absolutely full,” Bloom said. “This has been an absolutely difficult time.”
“We’re having to do thing’s we’ve never had to do before,” he continued, commending the work the hospital staff has been doing to protect the community during the pandemic. “When you see any of them, give them a hearty thank you. I have been amazed at what they have been able to do.”
Bloom also expressed pride in the hospital’s behavioral health facility and the wound care center.
He updated the commissioners on various equipment purchases and improvements, and explained that the hospital is looking at expanding access to care, saying that after Feb. 1 the hospital will be able to offer after hour and early morning services so patients won’t have to go to high cost emergency services.
Bloom said the hospital has been reaching out to community businesses for input on services needed at the hospital, adding that he wanted citizens to be able to stay home for their care rather than going somewhere else.
Efforts are ongoing to improve the appearance of the hospital and the hospital is looking at additional services such as establishing a retail pharmacy, providing specialty drugs and high cost drugs.

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