Monday, June 17, 2024
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Fentress Celebrates Ribbon Cutting Of Standalone ER In Jamestown

The community, local leaders and state officials gathered to celebrate the long-awaited Fentress County standalone ER facility ribbon-cutting Tuesday.

Dr. James Shamiyeh is the Executive Vice President of Clinical Operations at UT Medical Center. He said that the key to making this a reality was the urgent need to fill the gap in emergency services.

“This is an area that had access to close medical services and hospital and that hospital closed back in 2019,” Shamiyeh said. “And so now for the first time, there’ll be access to some of these services where people were having to go 45 miles to get before. So we’re really proud today.”

Shamiyeh said they know that rural areas everywhere struggle with healthcare access. He said one of the fundamental determinants of good health is good access, so the ER paves an opportunity for the whole community to be healthier.

Senator Bill Haggerty said not only does the facility bring healthcare opportunities, but it can bring industrial growth opportunities as well.

“Having this facility means that this county is going to again be more attractive to industries that want to move here,” Haggerty said. “That’s more opportunity for prosperity for our young ones, and that’s more opportunity ahead. So this is going to have a tremendous impact right here in this community.”

The new facility includes six exam rooms and a larger trauma room. The facility is one of just two in the nation. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services had to issue a waiver to allow the ER to happen outside its normal distance parameters. This is only the second time that has happened.

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