The Winston County Medical Center less than 24 hours after the April 28 EF-4 tornado which cut a crescent-shaped swath almost a mile wide around the town, destroying and damaging hundreds of structures and killing 10.
The Winston County Medical Center less than 24 hours after the April 28 EF-4 tornado which cut a crescent-shaped swath almost a mile wide around the town, destroying and damaging hundreds of structures and killing 10.
A new Winston County hospital in wake of the April tornado remains in the planning stage as officials look at funding, design and location in wake of an April 28 EF-4 tornado which left the current facility nonoperational.

What's more, officials have not ruled out repairing and updating the current facility, Paul Black, interim CEO of Winston County Medical Center, said last week.

The medical center was one of many buildings in Louisville devastated by the tornado which cut a crescent-shaped swath almost a mile wide around the town, destroying and damaging hundreds of structures and killing 10.

The medical center, specifically, was evacuated after it was hit by the tornado. It remains non-functioning due to severe damage.

The University of Mississippi Medical Center, in coordination with the Mississippi State Department of Health and the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, initially sent an eight-bed mobile field unit hospital to Louisville and several teams to help local responders assess, triage and treat patients.

Following that, a mobile disaster hospital from North Carolina arrived in Louisville to help fill the gap. It remains in operation.

The facility includes an emergency room, surgery unit, inpatient beds, an X-ray machine and a lab.

With the temporary hospital in place, plans were started on what to do with the old facility.

Black said the planning group recently met with Pryor & Morrow Architects of Columbus to look at concepts for a new hospital.

The interim CEO said that currently none of the details on the new facility were finalized, including whether they would build a new facility or renovate the old one.

"The [new] inpatient facility is likely to be smaller," he said, noting the old hospital had 61 inpatient rooms, which would likely be reduced in a new hospital with the possibly to expand in the future if necessary.

"But it would still offer the same type of services," Black said.

The location of the new facility remains undecided as several different sites are still being studied.

"We've got a chance to make a decision that will help in the long run, 50 years from now or longer," Black said.

One of the biggest issues on the future of the hospital is funding, Black said.

Currently the group does not know how much they will have to fund the project.

"But we hope to get as high as $42 million," Black said, noting the amount would be, in part, determined by FEMA.

The interim CEO said he hoped the amount would be determined in the near future.