Construction is finishing up on the White River Medical Center North Complex in Cherokee Village.
"It's going to be a terrific addition to Sharp County and the entire area," said Joe Walls, clinic administrator. "It's really going to be something. There is nothing that compares to it in the area."
The 26,000-square-foot facility, connected to KN Medical Building, is expected to be completed in early summer, Walls said. Once open, the facility will allow local residents an opportunity to have their medical needs met closer to home.
"It will basically consolidate all of our services in Sharp County and serve patients in Sharp, Fulton and Izard counties," said Sheila Mace, public relations coordinator for White River Health System. "We have had a long-standing relationship with the people in Sharp County, in the Cherokee Village, Highland, Hardy area and we really listened to patient concerns when the hospital closed. We looked to see what we could do to fill their needs."
The new facility will be home to all of White River's offices in the area: Midway Medical Clinic and Dr. Tim Young and Kaye Plumlee APN; Hardy Medical Clinic and Virginia Hartness APN; White River Medical Center Urgent Care Clinic; WRMC Specialty Clinic and WRMC Pros, Mace said.
The facility will feature mammography, X-ray, CT scans, bone densitometry, nuclear medicine, ultrasound, endoscopy services and a laboratory, Mace said.
"It will give them a place to go to get their medical testing done without having to drive to Jonesboro or Batesville," Walls said.
The building will be owned by Dr. Surinder Sra, Dr. Tommy Taylor and Dr. Jerry Ellis. The building will be leased to White River Health System. Drs. Sra, Taylor and Ellis will continue to practice in their current facilities.
Ground was broken on the site in March 2006. Cromwell Architect Engineers of Little Rock are working on the contract with general contractor B.B. Vance of Jonesboro.
The building cost $6 million in construction costs alone, Walls said. The hospital has also spent $1.3 for medical equipment for the new facility, he said.
The facility will be linked to White River Health System in Batesville. The link will allow images and tests taken at the Sharp County facility to be read by physicians in Batesville as they are being processed.
"We're on the cutting edge of technology right now and I've got lots more things I'd like to do," Walls said. "You cannot stop in healthcare. If you stop, that's when you start rolling backwards."
Construction has been delayed during the project due to bad weather and unforeseen issues.
"We can't get enough labor to do the job," he said.
Despite the delays, White River staff and community officials are still optimistic about the facility and its success.
"We have had great cooperation from the community, local officials and the medical community in that area," Mace said.
"We're excited. We can't wait to get it open," Walls said.