St. Bernard's Medical Center, a well-respected healthcare provider based in Jonesboro, has offered to the County to manage and operate the new Sharp County-Owned Hospital when the sales tax is approved. St. Bernards’ commitment to manage, operate and help staff the hospital is on record with the County’s Quorum Court and is outlined in a letter from Chris Barber, President and CEO of St. Bernards.
The decision about who will manage and operate the hospital will ultimately be made by a county appointed Hospital Committee.
St. Bernards initiated and paid for an independent feasibility study conducted by the BKD accounting firm to determine if it would be economically feasible for St. Bernards to operate and manage our new hospital. During its presentation to the Sharp County Quorum Court this past fall, St. Bernards indicated that the findings of this independent study yielded positive results that serve as the basis for St. Bernards’ commitment to the county to operate and manage the hospital.
St. Bernards currently manages and operates two other rural hospitals located in Lawrence and Cross counties that were voted No. 1 and No. 2 by the "Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care" for the quality of care they provide. The Jonesboro Sun reported that St. Bernards out performs the state's average emergency department wait time. Their December average wait time between entering the doors and seeing a doctor was just 27 minutes.
St. Bernards understands how vital quality medial services are to small rural communities and they understand the critical role small rural hospitals play in helping grow local economies. In addition to leveraging its medical supply and equipment buying power as well as its proven track record of managing and delivering quality healthcare, St. Bernards will be able to provide reputable highly-qualified physicians to staff the on-site hospital clinics and 24/7 emergency room.
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