UPDATE: NFCH Specialty Center dedication held

Published: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 01:31 PM.

Dr. Gabriel Berry, Dr. H. James Wall and Dr. David Taing will all have their offices in the new facility.

The education center is a special addition, Schlenker said, because until today the only space the hospital had of similar size for training classes was the cafeteria. “The new space can also be divided into two classrooms,” he said. “And we plan on making it available to the public, as well.”

Starting in January, the Washington County Chamber of Commerce’s monthly “Third Thursday” breakfast meetings will be held at the Specialty Center.

State Rep. Marti Coley (R-Marianna) said that it was a blessing for the community to have a leader like Schlenker working for the hospital, which was nearly bankrupt in 2003 before Schlenker took over the facility.

“I’m thankful for the large hospitals in the region, don’t get me wrong,” Coley said. “But they can’t replace the hospitals in our rural communities, and your hospital is an example the rest of the state can follow.”

Signature Health Care President and CEO E. Joseph Steier, III of Louisville, Ky., said that it was the vision of men like Schlenker and the hospital’s board of directors that kept NFCH thriving while many rural hospitals have fallen on hard times, or closed altogether.

“When the public health facility is working, it brings jobs and retail to the community,” Steier said.

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