Sunday, May 24, 2015 12:00 PM


For almost 70 years, Murray Medical Center has played a vital role in the community. Murray residents are proud of the hospital and have supported it with time and money.

But rural hospitals across the nation have been struggling financially in recent years. Some 50 have closed just since 2010. And officials say Murray Medical Center has been no different.

But a community like Murray County needs a hospital. For many residents a 30- or 45-minute trip to a hospital outside the county is a serious inconvenience. And when firms are looking to relocate, one of the things they look for is a good hospital.

That’s why we can’t overestimate just how vital the agreement recently approved by state regulators between the Hospital Authority of Murray County and Adventist Health System, which operates Gordon Hospital in Calhoun, really is.

Murray Medical Center gains two things. First, it will become managed by a faith-based organization with a reputation for first-class patient care.

Second, as part of the deal, Adventist agreed to pay off Murray Medical Center’s $5.1 million debt to Hamilton Health Care System and forgive that debt during the five-year life of the lease. That frees the hospital from a huge financial burden.

Adventist signed an ...

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