Leflore Co. hospital employing more staff

Published 12:44 pm Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Leflore Co. hospital employing more staff

GREENWOOD (AP) — Greenwood Leflore Hospital has become the largest job provider in Leflore County, bucking the trend of some other medical facilities struggling in the tough economy.

The Greenwood Commonwealth reports that the hospital has been able to recruit nurses and open its After Hours Clinic to increase its employment. The hospital employed 1,023 people through Sept. 30, a 14 percent increase from three years ago.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Nursing has contributed the most new jobs in the past year. Forty-two were hired this past summer.

“We’ve had a goal to recruit and employ nurses of our own to replace contract nurses,” said Jim Jackson, hospital administrator.

Ten additional new jobs came from the opening of the After Hours Clinic in August. The clinic is open in the evenings on weekdays and in the mornings on weekends to provide non-emergency care when doctor’s offices are closed.

The hospital’s growth comes at a time when many companies in Leflore County are struggling just to stay open.

Three industrial businesses — Hamlin Sheet Metal, Friction Holdings/Raybestos and Balkamp — have announced their closures in the past year, and unemployment last month was at the highest level it has been in September in 22 years.

“Right now, the hospital is the best thing weve got going,” said Preston Ratliff, a Leflore County supervisor.

Despite the added jobs, the perception that health care is not affected by the economy is untrue, said Jackson. Hospital admissions, days of care and surgeries were all down in the past year, he said.