By David Howell
OAKLAND – Construction is expected to start for a new medical clinic in Oakland by early fall in one of the latest projects underway by Yalobusha General Hospital.
Hospital Administrator Terry Varner met with supervisors during the “first Monday” meeting, providing an update on the hospital’s plans.
Varner said the hospital has arranged to purchase two lots, one owned by the Town of Oakland where the old BancorpSouth building is located, and an adjacent building that formerly housed a hardware store.
“We met with the Board of Alderman of Oakland and had an appraisal done on the old BancorpSouth building,” Varner said.
He also requested help from the supervisors with demolition of the two buildings at the “first Monday” meeting held in Coffeeville.
“We can wipe them out, it would not take but a little bit with a backhoe,” District 5 Supervisor Frank “Bubba” Tillman said. He also speculatd there could be an interest in the old bricks in the building.
“Dr. Paul Odom will supervise it, from a physician’s standpoint, and we will put a nurse practitioner out there full-time,” Varner explained to county officials.
He estimated the clinic could be open by next spring and will come with an estimated $300,000 price tag.
“We will be able to sell discounted drugs,” Varner told the Herald after the meeting, explaining that people living in Oakland now have to drive to Batesville, Grenada or Charleston for drugs.
The move is part of the aggressive expansion of healthcare services in Yalobusha County that include a new $2.2 million clinic in Water Valley, opening a health clinic in Coffeeville and substantial improvements to the hospital, both hospital renovations and medical equipment that come with an estimated $8 million price tag in the last seven years.
Varner said the investments have been productive for the hospital.
“Since the end of February, we have paid off $2.3 million in debt,” Varner told supervisors.