Economic leaders in Shelby County, Missouri are discussing the possibility of building a new hospital. It's a major undertaking, one with a lot of questions to be answered.
Residents are worried about getting emergency care. Right now, the nearest hospital is in Macon, which is more than 20 miles away. And for some, that can be too far in an emergency.
"Especially rural people. People out in the country which I am from the country, I live about five miles out and stuff like that, the closest would be 23 miles, and then Hannibal's like 40-45 miles," said Shelbina resident Christina Simmons.
Simmons believes a hospital, including an emergency room, in Shelby County would not only ease her fears, but give an overall boost to the area.
"I think it would be good for the community because it would be easier to get there, you would be closer to medical help, it might help the economy even," she said.
Right now, the only place people can go for medical care in Shelbina is the family clinic. But could Shelbina sustain a hospital for the long term? Shelby County Economic Development Director Teresa Keller says that's a major question they are trying to answer.
"If we put something like this in place and 36 months down the road it's time for us to start making payments on this hospital and at first we're doing good and then after awhile we can't. I mean that would definitely hurt the community to have a facility then lose it," Keller said.
But resident Shelly Yost believes it's possible because she's seen even smaller communities with a hospital like Memphis, Missouri.
"A friend of mine had a baby there and had a wonderful experience, so if we can have that here in Shelby County why wouldn't we want to promote that?" Yost said.
Right now, county officials are trying to find a partner like Hannibal Regional or Samaritan Hospital in Macon to help in the development of a hospital.
Another option is to have specialists come to the clinics in Shelby County to help treat people who would have to otherwise drive to a hospital.
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