Rural Hospital Growing

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Brian Whitfield Hospital in Demopolis, Ala., is planning to hire at least four dozen more people.

"In addition to the 30 jobs that we added to the community last year, this year we're projected through September to add about 40 more," said Arthur Evans. "So in the last two years we've added 70 jobs to the economy here in Demopolis."

Hospital officials say the added jobs are needed because the hospital is experiencing a more than 50 percent jump in outpatient services rendered within the last two years.

In turn, this boom in business is generating yearly about $51 million in revenue for the area.

"Every dollar turns seven times. It goes usually to the bank and then it's spent at the grocery stores. Then the people at the grocery store take that dollar and go out and buy gas and then they go out and buy food," said Mayor Cecil Williams.

The hospital also plans to bring cardiologists on board in the near future, and while many rural hospitals no longer deliver babies, Brian Whitfield never stopped.

"Getting doctors in from different places, specialists and things like that, helped to keep us open," said Jeanette Allen, a nurse in the maternity ward, explaining that the hospitals were able to get doctors.

And staying open is something that Brian Whitfield says it is dedicated to doing. Some rural communities are losing their hospitals, but this one has a 99-bed capacity and plans to add at least two or three more surgical suites in the near future.

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