Leaders around Pickens County want hospital reopened

It’s been two and a half years since Pickens County Medical Center in Carrollton closed down. Now, area leaders are spearheading an effort to get it reopened.

A petition has been making its way around Pickens County since late last week, and local mayors are collecting as many signatures as possible so they can present them to state lawmakers in the hopes of securing enough funding to reopen the rural hospital.

Carrolton is the county seat in Pickens County, and the petition is already talk of the town.

In fact, there’s a doctor just across the street from the Carrollton courthouse, but it’s not the kind the petition is after.

Local restaurant Pizza Doctor is where WVUA 23 caught up with several Pickens County residents who’ve added their signatures or plan to do so soon.

“I signed it because it could save my life,” said Pickens County resident D’Atra King.

Resident Jerica Jones said the lack of a hospital in the area means she stays worried about her family.

“I have a sick son, and I have to take him to Tuscaloosa or Columbus,” Jones said. “That’s a long way to go to get to an ER.”

One town over in Gordo, Mayor Craig Patterson even took the petition to the Gordo GreenWave football game.

“It actually could mean life or death for some people within our county,” Patterson said. “I want them to sign the petition plus call your representatives, call your senators, let them know what this means to our county.”

Nowadays, Pickens County Medical Center sits vacant, with an overgrown lawn and cobwebs covering the entrances. The nearest hospital is in Columbus, Mississippi, or in Northport. Both are more than 30 miles away.

If you’re interested in signing the petition, you can do so at any city or town hall in Pickens County or online right here.

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