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Jesup opens hospital
Wayne Memorial unveils new 156,000 sq. ft. building
mr new hosp
People walk to the new Wayne Memorial Hospital Sunday for its grand opening. - photo by Photo by Mike Riddle
JESUP — The Wayne County Hospital held a grand opening Sunday.  The event was deemed a great success, and had around 800 people come out to take part in the festivities.  
Some of the dignitaries at the hospital included, District 19 state Sen. Tommie Williams and District 178 state Rep. Mark Williams.
Activities kicked off at 3 p.m. with hospital CEO Joe Ierardi welcoming all who came out, and thanking all who helped make the creation of the hospital come to pass.
Sen. Williams, a keynote speaker, expressed a thanks to all the taxpayers, “I want to thank all of you out there who pay the taxes which foot the bill for projects like this”.
The senator also noted how hospitals such as Wayne Memorial were not established to make a profit, but they had to stay in the black to operate.
He added, “It’s our job to be frugal with your dollars, but I can tell you this, you’ve done the right thing in building this new hospital.  Now I urge all of you locally, and the counties nearby like Brantley and Long to come out and support it, so it can become a bright star for here and the surrounding community”.
According to earlier reports, during the building of the hospital; of its breakdown of employees, six percent are from Liberty and Long counties, and it is estimated that 19 percent of the people who seek care from the hospital are also from Long County.
After this, Rep. Mark Williams also spoke of the type of care to be given at the facilities.
“This hospital has always given excellent care to those who use its services. Now it will be even better. It is a first class healthcare provider, and it is second to none,” he said.
The representative also spoke of the center benefiting not just the Jesup area, but also the entire area.
“This is not just a great day for Wayne County, but it is great day for the entire region,” the lawmaker said.
After the ceremony and ribbon cutting, all present were given a tour of the hospital and served refreshments.
According to marketing coordinator Tina Hinson, the project was first given approval in 2004, but actual construction started back in June of 2006, and took about 15 months to complete.
Hinson also said the 84-bed hospital is just over 156,600 square feet.
Hinson also highlighted some of the state-of-the-art services provided, including the new radiology center, which offers a women’s center and also the surgical services department, which offers four 600-foot operating rooms.
The hospital was started back in 1924 under the name of Colvin-Rich Sanitarium. In 1951 it became the Ritch-Leaphart Hospital. And in 1957 it became a public facility, and was named the Wayne County Emergency Hospital.
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