Ashley Clark and Kelly Jones, right, demostrate how a new X-ray machine would be used for a leg injury. The machine is part of the new $19 million Neshoba County General Hospital which opened to patients last week.
Ashley Clark and Kelly Jones, right, demostrate how a new X-ray machine would be used for a leg injury. The machine is part of the new $19 million Neshoba County General Hospital which opened to patients last week.
The first surgery was performed Monday in the new $19 million Neshoba County General Hospital, following the transfer of patients from the old facility last week.

Hospital Administrator Lonnie Graeber said the transition to the new hospital has gone smoothly.

There were 20 patients in the new facility on Monday, he said.

"I've been very pleased with the transition," Graeber said. "There were a few glitches but nothing of any significance."

He recalled one patient in the old hospital, who was reluctant to move into the new facility because she felt so badly.

When she arrived at her new room, she proudly announced that she was feeling better already, Graeber said.

"So, nice surroundings can make a difference," he said.

The emergency department opened around 4 p.m. on Tuesday, July 16.

As of noon on Monday, over 300 patients had been treated in the ER, Graeber said.

The pharmacy department relocated to the new facility Tuesday and began operations.

The X-ray department moved into the new hospital about three weeks ago.

Tuesday morning, a crew from the county road department demolished an old modular building between the two hospitals which previously housed a C.T. scan.

New landscaping and handicapped parking spaces will be added in its place.

"We are very happy that the county is our partner and helping us with the project," Graeber said.

Work is also underway on the entrance to the hospital campus off Holland Avenue near the medical clinic.

"We are going to close the entrance near the four-way stop [at Holland Avenue and Hospital Road]," Graeber said. "It's always been kind of dangerous."

The parking lot will be repaved and restriped. There will also be new curbing and some changes to islands in the parking area.

Phase 1 of the hospital project will also include renovations to the first floor of the old facility to accommodate a new laboratory, respiratory department, gift shop and chapel.

A new courtyard will be constructed between the two buildings and the current hospital entrance canopy removed.

That entrance will be closed and replaced by a store-front corridor from the new hospital to the cafeteria and nursing home for a more direct approach and to architecturally blend the old and need.

"All of Phase 1 is included in our $19 million budget," Graeber said.

In addition, Graeber has said by the end of this year, construction would begin on a new outpatient rehab building, providing physical, occupational and speech therapy services.

"And, by this time next year, we intend to begin construction on another medical office building to house family practice, internal medicine and pediatric physicians who care for patients in our hospital," Graeber said at the ribbon cutting.

"Both of these will be located on the west side of our campus at an estimated cost of $3 million to be funded from cash reserves."

Phase 2 of the overall hospital construction project will continue with renovations to the second and third floors of the current hospital to provide overflow inpatient and outpatient beds and the start of OB/GYN services, he said.

"These are in the planning stages with costs and financing still to be determined," Graeber said.

"We would hope to have definition of these projects along with a timeline within the next year."