Rural hospital set to close saved with a week to spare

Rural Southeast Georgia received a grand blessing Monday.

Just days before it was set to be closed for good, Optim Medical Center-Jenkins has been sold.

The purchase by GA Medical Holdings, Corp. means operations at the Jenkins County hospital in Millen will go on without interruption, an answered prayer for both the staff and members of the community who were concerned about access and levels of care.

But that is a concern no more.

Optim issued a press release on Monday and CEO of both the Jenkins and Screven facilities, Bob Sellers, said, “Throughout the difficult process of having to close our doors, conversations with potential buyers continued. Patient safety and quality care remained one of our highest priorities and we have worked closely with members of the county commission as we found a way to provide a future for the hospital.”

The hospital announced on April 25 that it would close its doors for good on June 24 due to increasing costs, decreased patient activity, falling Medicare/Medicaid reimbursements, and dire needs for infrastructure upgrades. Patients in the Millen area were going to be sent to neighboring-but-still-distant Screven County.

Nurses and doctors gathered last month at the flag pole in front of the small hospital for a group prayer asking for a miracle to save the hospital. [I was there -so you can read about that here] It seems to have worked.

According to the formal press release, the deal is signed, sealed, and delivered:

Optim Health System and GA Medical Holdings, Corp. worked diligently to facilitate this transaction. The June 16 transfer of ownership allows the Jenkins County hospital to maintain uninterrupted daily operations and ensures a fluid transition for staff, employees, and patients. The hospital’s emergency department will remain open and available to the community.

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Holly Croft
Holly Croft

So happy to read this, Jessica. Thank you for the update!